In April, Facebook announced that they will allow publishers to share native ads on their Facebook Fan pages. There were some discussions whether it is a good or a bad thing for marketers, and only recently publishers realized how disastrous this new tool is for their businesses.  


Is Facebook not on fleek anymore or what exactly is going on?

Native ads are super effective and useful for brands and publishers of the branded content. Brands have a great chance to promote themselves and therefore drive their sales up and up, while publishers can enjoy getting paid for posting the content. Native ads also allow websites not to deal with the ad blocking (like banner ads).


Native Advertising Campaigns Critical Elements for Success


Besides that, native ads do drive customers crazy and make them buy any kind of stuff. According to some research, 70% of people want to learn about new products through branded content rather than through any other types of advertising. Moreover, native ads increase people’s interaction with a brand by up to 82%. And finally, people’s purchase intent is 53% higher for the brands with native ads. When it comes to Facebook and native ads, besides some other purposes, Facebook has accounted for 30% of digital-advertising revenues for many brands over several years. But what happened recently really affected its branded content implementation and made publishers furious and unhappy.

On April 8th, Facebook posted an update about their branded content policy. Basically, what happening is when a publisher posts any kind of a content to promote a brand, the brand will be tagged to the post, and it will have an access to a variety of metrics indicating how successful the published content is. Let’s discuss why exactly it blew publishers away and what problems the new policy has caused.


Why does the new policy downgrade the value of native ads?

In the past, publishers usually created special fan pages for sharing their branded content. Now, you would think that everything became easier and that the publishers can just happily share all the content on their own fan pages. But, wait, they also have to tag the brand in the post. And this is the main downside of the new policy.

Before the new policy was implemented, they could just create posts without tagging the brand. For instance, BuzzFeed has done that for Chrystler:


Facebook Buried Native Ads


According to Gawker, in the first half of 2014, Buzzfeed spent around $1 million on native ads every month, and more than million people liked and shared those ads!

Well, now the problem has arisen. All the posts will contain tags with brands’ names. It is believed to be less effective, since people will perceive those posts as a direct advertisement of the product, no matter what the content is about. In the past, posts did a great job hiding the idea of native ads behind carefully written stories. Now, Facebook users will know exactly what post is simply a branded content, and what is not, and business can really suffer from that: According to CMO statistics, around 86% people find native ads misleading and deceiving. With that big number, do you think that people will be very willing to read a post knowing that this is a native advertisement? Hell no.


What is another reason for publishers to be furious?

As mentioned before, now the brands will have an access to various metrics related to the success of the branded content. Brands can check cost-per-click, total reach, click, etc. that can indicate significantly lower results than what publishers have promised. The problem is that brands can check only the traffic from Facebook rather than the organic website traffic.

Alex Magnin, CRO of Thought Catalog, states that now brands will be more careful about the price they are paying for publishing the content and how effective the content really is. And if the price and reach do not correspond, the brands can be really pissed off, and that would lead to lower ad rates.


Does Facebook just dislike the publishers or what’s the problem?

There are some talks that Facebook introduced this new policy just to benefit the users and let them not be deceived by the evil company’s ads. Another reason is that the Facebook wants to show the brands that they don’t have to pay hella money for the publication of the branded content when they can pay much less.

While some are very skeptical about the Facebook’s intentions, this is still not clear what Facebook is trying to achieve.

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