Facebook increases size of ‘Page-Like’ Sponsored Stories in News Feed with recent posts

Facebook has nearly doubled the size of “Page-Like” Sponsored Stories in News Feed by adding a recent post from the page to the story.

It is unclear whether the change will make these ads more effective in helping advertisers get new Likes. However, because the unit also includes a recent post, advertisers can get across a more specific message and promote engagement in the form of commenting or sharing. Previously, pages could not get their posts featured in News Feed unless a user’s friend took action on that specific post. Now, a recent post will be displayed with any Page-Like story.

Facebook seems to be trying to find a design that makes Sponsored Stories effective for advertisers without making users feel their experience is being disrupted by ads. Although the new story takes up more space, it is in some ways less noticeable than the previous version, which looked very different from any other story in the feed. The old Page-Like stories included a much larger version of the page’s profile picture and listed more friends who Liked the page. This new unit emphasizes a page’s content rather than its logo. Because of that, the “Like Page” call to action has been moved the upper right of the story, which could be unfamiliar for users. However, the unit no longer includes the distracting “Find More Pages” link that took users to the page discovery browser rather than to an advertiser’s own content.

This is the second time the social network has redesigned the Page-Like Sponsored Story unit since it began showing ads in News Feed in January. In March, Facebook changed the unit from being a simple line of text to a much larger one including the page’s profile image and thumbnails of more friends who are connected to the page.

The new design will apply to Page-Like stories that have not been sponsored, but we have not yet seen an example of this.

Here is the previous design for “Page-Like” Sponsored Stories, which first appeared in March:

This is the first iteration of  “Page-Like” Sponsored Stories in News Feed, which we saw in February: