Facebook Timeline Ads Are Here

Get ready for Facebook Timeline ads.

If you haven't seen them yet, you will; in between your friends' statuses and photos, look for ads like this:

We took this from a profile that is not associated in any way with Independence Blue Cross. The user isn't a customer and has no connection with them on Facebook. But the site's new ad rules allow companies to pay for increased exposure; when a friend of yours “likes” them, you will start seeing ads placed by companies your friends "like" in your news feed.

Twitter has been doing the same thing for several months, but their use of 'sponsored' tweets has so far been limited. Our unscientific poll of Facebook users reveals a sharply negative reaction, with many complaining that the move contradicts social media's main purpose: to create and curate a personal network.

Timeline ads certainly give you more exposure than those little ads in the right column. However, beware of unintended consequences. You will get your message in front of fresh eyes, but your audience may see it as an unwelcome intrusion.

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