Late last year Facebook announced that it was going to introduce ads into our news feeds. Well, they're here, but to soften the blow they're tagged as "featured" rather than "sponsored".
The site is slowly rolling out the ads around the world, and for now is only inserting one paid news story a day in users' news feeds. A Facebook spokesman told The Telegraph:
"We've begun slowly rolling [them] out in News Feeds and are labelling them as "featured." These stories respect your and your friends' privacy settings, and people will only see stories about people and Pages they've already connected to."
Some good news: the ads won't show up on the mobile version of Facebook, so it is possible to escape them, at least when you're on the move.
The Financial Times, however, raises concerns over the use of the tag "featured", suggesting that it might cause confusion amongst users about the origins of the posts. Speaking to the Financial Times, another Facebook spokesperson said:
"We are using the term ‘featured' because we want to make it clear to people that they're seeing content from a Page or person they have chosen to connect to."
Either way, ads in our news feeds are here, and here to stay. The cynics amongst us might argue that the inclusion of just one post a day is a way of getting us used to ads without moaning, and that we should expect to see that number increase over time. Those cynics are probably correct. [Financial Times and The Telegraph; Image: west.m]