For whom is the Facebook news feed? Is it for users or advertisers? the questions isn’t spurious even though you might get very different answers depending on who you ask the question to. Now, open up the Facebook app. What are the first five posts you see? A picture of your friend’s new dog, a Buzzfeed article liked by your friend, a viral video, a suggested post promoting a brand, a suggested app. The use of the Facebook news feed as an advertising platform for marketers is growing at a rapid pace, and users see more and more ads on their news feeds. Facebook users tend to express a dislike toward the number of ads invading their news feed. Facebook faces the challenge of creating a pleasant user experience while still generating revenue from their advertisements. Facebook, like most free services, need advertisements in order to succeed. It is a matter of finding the right balance between personal and promotional information.
[Editor’s note: this piece by Diana Mylonas was written towards the end of December 2017 and, for some obscure reason, never published. We are releasing it now with a 7-month delay but its question is more relevant than ever before in the light of recent events. We will be closing this blog temporarily in order to charge our batteries over the Summer and we’ll be back towards the end of August with brand new stories. Enjoy the sun!]