Starting Jan. 11, Facebook has begun introducing ads into users' news feeds, labeled "Featured" stories as to distinguish them from the earned media messaging that users sometimes see, the company said. Also new is the ability for Facebook users to comment on external websites via the Comments Box plug-in.
Facebook initially announced on Dec. 20 that it would push paid ads to news feeds. "Since people can see marketing messages from both Pages they have and have not Liked elsewhere on Facebook, we want to make it clear that marketers can only pay for stories to be featured in your News Feed if you have explicitly liked the Page," said Facebook spokesperson Annie Ta to ClickZ News, part of Incisive Interactive Marketing, LLC. "And because you are always connected to your friends, we are also labeling stories from your friends that have been paid to be featured in your News Feed as ‘featured' to keep things consistent," she added.
For websites that already have the Comments Box plug-in installed, the variant will automatically appear on the mobile version of the site. Comments can be moderated, and Facebook is using a "social relevance" algorithm to detect the most relevant comments for each user. More information on the plug-in is available at https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/comments.