Click “Like” If You Can See This Post: Facebook’s New Sponsored Stories Feature

Have you seen your favorite geek t-shirt artist posting designs lately, or wondering when that witty web-show host will release her next video – and did your favorite Korean taco joint close down? There hasn’t been a daily special in days!

It’s nothing new, but it is probably something the average user hasn’t been aware of. Now page owners can have the option of paying to get their content out to more of their fans.

The company began rolling out it’s latest feature, “Sponsored Stories” this week (though it has been in Beta testing for a few months now). It allows Page Administrators the option of paying a sliding scale fee to get their post featured on the pages of people who like their business. The costs range between $15 and $300, depending on how many “likes” your page has and how prominent you want your post. There is still no guarantee that it will be seen by everyone who likes your page.

This is what Facebook has to say: “When you promote a post, it will be shown in the news feeds of more of the people who like your Page than you would reach normally. Friends of the people who have interacted with your post will also be more likely to see the story in their news feeds for up to 3 days from when the post was first created.”

Additionally, a “sponsored” tag will appear next this post, to ensure users know this is something to pay attention to.

This is a great feature if you’re a large company, but could seriously impact the small businesses and other people who use Facebook Pages as a marketing and information sharing tool. There are a lot of mom and pop businesses that I follow around my town, and enjoy seeing their events and deals. Remembering to check their page every day is an unrealistic option, no matter how dedicated a customer you are. This is just one of the many changes you can expect now that Facebook has gone public on the trading circuit.

There is already a backlash from some businesses and individuals about this new feature. It seems many people were unaware how their EdgeRank corresponded with how many people see their Page updates.

If you’re a Page Administrator, you are aware of the Insights feature, it tells you how many people your posts are reaching, and gives an idea of how many are “talking about” your Page based on comments, likes, and shares. All of this goes into determining your EdgeRank.

According to an article on Inside Facebook, “EdgeRank is the algorithm that determines what items populate your News Feed. With all the friends people have and pages they like, most users would be overwhelmed to see all of the activity generated by these connections. Facebook, therefore, assigns a value to every possible story that could end up in the feed. This value is based on affinity, weight and time.”

Web Pro News has a break down on how the new Promote feature works and what audience you can expect to reach for each price.

What do you think about this new feature from Facebook? Tell us in the comments!





7 Responses to Click “Like” If You Can See This Post: Facebook’s New Sponsored Stories Feature

  1. This is not going to be good for my web series. I have no budget whatsoever, and especially not any money for promotion. Facebook was supposed to be the way for the little guy to get noticed.

    • I follow a lot of smaller artists, web series, and similar pages, many who are struggling to reach a larger audience. This seems to be a biased way to limit the reach of the audience who obviously like the page and want the updates anyways. Good luck with your web series, I hope that this doesn't end up being a hindrance for you.

  2. I was on the fence about facebook for my business, but Etsy was determined to make you connect everything, so I did it. Now it just seems like one more bait and switch. Not only do I not want to pay for people to see updates, I don't want the businesses I "like" to have to pay either. It gives a distinct advantage to the guy with the big marketing budget, and that's frankly not the person I'm probably more likely to support.

  3. How is this different from paid advertising in my feed? It seems like the only difference is that I get to choose who advertises to me based on who/what I "like". So, if I like several big name brands, I'll probably be seeing more stuff from them than I want, unless I ignore them or "unlike" them?
    Sounds like a bellyflop in the making to me.

  4. “With all the friends people have and pages they like, most users would be overwhelmed to see all of the activity generated by these connections.” That’s why Twitter filters its feed, too! Oh, wait…

  5. “Additionally, a “sponsored” tag will appear next this post, to ensure users know this is something to pay attention to.”
    More like ignore as it is yet just another ad.

  6. The posts from your smaller businesses will still find their way to your "Most Recent" NewsFeed, which is a way of countering this new strategy from FB. However I do find this to be very annoying too, especially since it puts the emphasis on budget rather than on quality of content.

    @Chris / Twitter is more and more the way to go
    @Brett / +1 – I give it 3 days until AdBlockPlus starts blocking those