Comparing the Transparency of Facebook and Twitter Ads
Ran into a Facebook ad today that got me thinking about the transparency of Facebook’s and Twitter’s in-stream ad products.
In-stream is an interesting format, and one that probably works best for both. It’s also a format that goes all the way back to at least the radio and television days (that’s what mid-broadcast ads are, after all). However, the ‘right’ way to do it is certainly to make it clear to the audience that something is an ad.
Now, let’s compare the 2 in-stream formats for Facebook and Twitter:
Truth be told, I didn’t even notice that the Facebook post was an ad until I looked closely because of the color. They also push the ‘Sponsored’ label to the bottom right, where few eyeballs go. My bet is most people don’t even realize when they run across one.
Twitter, on the other hand, likes to use a bright orange icon to highlight that a post is an ad, and places it where more people are likely to see it.
The issue of ad transparency is something that comes in waves — it was rightly on everyone’s radar when sponsored posts first launched. Facebook’s format certainly meets the threshold of minimum transparency, but it’s easy to see which platform is being more clear with their audience.