Maybe you noticed it but you probably didn’t. It’s that post on your Facebook feed that is an ad, but its made to look like just another post from a friend. In this day and age where we expect our newspapers, leaders, doctors, and teachers and to provide full disclosure of financial arrangements and other important facts, some of the biggest web sites on the Internet are playing fast and loose with our trust by passing off ads as just a normal post.
This type of ad is called “Native Ads” and because of their placement in our regular viewing area must illicit a higher than average response rate. The fact that they provide no special border, or tag gives the user no idea that it’s a paid placement and that is just wrong.
My hope is that enough people begin to call out these ads for their mis-leading nature that the companies either remove these from our “organic” viewing area or else make it much more clear that this is an advertising and not a posting from one of our friends.