Facebook ads ‘a step too far’

facebook 3 smallerFacebook has been warned it is risking the wrath of its 1 billion users by extending targeted advertising to newsfeeds, a move which has been branded “a monetising attempt that has gone too far”.
So says the co-founder of Adblock Plus Till Faida, who is warning that marketers risk alienating users.
The move, which was announced this week, comes as a further attempt for Facebook to demonstrate that it can keep revenues and profits high, since it went public in May last year.
Facebook Exchange takes a user’s search history from the entire web in order to target specific ads more relevant to that individual. At present, these sit on the right hand side of the page, out of the direct eye-line of the user. But the proposed updates, which are currently only being trialled, will see these ads sit within the newsfeed of the site, disguised in between users’ friends and family updates.
Faida commented: “The Facebook newsfeed is the place where users will usually spend most of their time on the site. This makes it a gold mine of an opportunity for marketers, but users simply will not take to advertising as aggressive as this, especially on a site in which is used for very personal purposes and is so trusted.
“Facebook has become such an integrated part of many people’s lives and the trust level in the site is extraordinarily high. Through the Facebook Exchange ads, the site is taking advantage of its users and their trust through allowing such targeted advertising towards them.”€
Recent research from Adblock Plus highlights a direct link between more intrusive advertising and user frustration. Over two thirds (69%) of respondents to a survey in the UK said that online advertising had become more intrusive over the last two years.
Faida added: “Marketers need to address this issue and ensure that they do not alienate users, as they are clearly doing so currently. This move from Facebook would suggest that users frustration will only grow.”
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