Facebook Tests News Feed Ad Unit for Non-Fans
This week the company began testing an ad unit that will give you the option to pay to show your posts to people who haven’t Liked your Page. Previously, you could only reach non-fans through ads in the web sidebar or Sponsored Stories.
According to screenshot provided by Facebook, the new ad unit will feature a “Like Page” button in the top right corner and the word “sponsored” at the bottom. Otherwise, it will look similar to a post from a Page that a member is a fan of.
This latest test, along with the mobile app ad unit announced last week, shows that Facebook is becoming more aggressive in regards to advertising. But as TechCrunch pointed out, now a Page with no fans could buy its way into millions of News Feeds — something that could rub brands, which have spent years and thousands of dollars building fan bases, the wrong way.
But it’s not just brands that Facebook has to consider; this is a major change for members as well. Until now, News Feeds only featured stories about friends, subscriptions, or Liked Pages. Now individuals could start seeing marketing messages from brands they never opted in to receiving.
Currently Facebook is testing this on a very small scale. Significant experimenting is required before this ad unit can be rolled out to more marketers. As with any form of advertising, it’s important not to overwhelm members with ads. The social network noted that it has limits in place — though it didn’t provide any specifics — and will be watching reactions from test partners to assess whether to push it out further.