Earlier this month Facebook silently doubled the number of ads that appear on a user’s news feed from a page they are not connected to, Marketing Week reports. However, by increasing the number of ads seen from one to two a day, the social networking site risks a kickback from marketers and users alike.
The number of ads from a page users don’t follow that appear on a news feed was increased on 6 August, with the frequency cap of content from a page users do follow remaining at a daily rate of four. The publication noted that Facebook’s ad load will not increase with the update, but the restrictions applied to the number of ads that appear from the same brand in a news feed have been relaxed.
Facebook contacted a number of agencies regarding the update via email, and stated that as previous frequency caps had restricted the amount of content businesses were able to put in front of users, the slackening of these caps will “ensure businesses are better able to build awareness and drive business results through News Feed.”
However, increasing ad frequency but not ad load means the auction process for such ads will become more pressurised. It also means users of the site may become more irked with brands they don’t follow as they receive twice as many ads from them – possibly leading to them becoming irritated with the site itself.
President of M80, Jeff Semones, noted how Facebook has become less social and is now viewed more as an “advertising network” – the “old-school” notion of social media as “digitised word-of-mouth marketing” is long gone, he claims.