Facebook Brings Sponsored 'Stories', Ads to the Real-Time Ticker.


I always have to preface posts like this because Facebook is constantly testing new formats / features and it's hard to tell what I see vs. what other people see. In other words, if it's new to me it might not be new to you. So apologies! As Facebook ran out the real-time ticker, it was clearly a move to drive continuous engagement and alter the usage of the core feed. One of the consequences was that the ad units that had sat in the upper right column shifted down ... way down. Not great for advertisers paying premium (and ramping) prices. But, as shown below, that has seemed to allow for yet another ad format to emerge. This one looks a bit like Twitter's sponsored post. Sponsored stories / actions appear in the ticker and are noted as "sponsored" (ever so slightly). When expanded, those stories have standard actions (ie Like, share and comment). Obviously the goal is to drive engagement (and then charge for each interaction). Simple but very smart and effective.

And its yet another ad format - but this time, it's fully integrated into the normal usage pattern and can generate more than base CPMs. For instance, in the example below I could theoretically like the brand, comment, and/or share. Imagine a cost-per-interaction model. Advertisers would of course be excited as it leads to sharing and virality..