In January, Facebook will begin to roll out sponsored stories within the news feed.
As of now, sponsored stories only appear on the right hand column of Facebook and in the ticker. The company has not distributed ads in the news feed since 2008, so the move is likely to spur some controversy and debate among users.
The company is saying the posts will not appear more than once per day and will be clearly marked as "sponsored," but consumers will not have the option to opt out of all sponsored stories. They can, however, remove individual posts from their news feeds.
Despite the discontent expressed by some users, the news of sponsored stories in the news feed will likely be well received among companies and brands looking for another social media mechanism for engaging with consumers.
Just a few months ago, Twitter added sponsored advertising to its user's timelines. Though the move sparked some initial uproar, most of the chatter has died down as users have become accustomed to the ads. One might assume the overall consumer reaction to Facebook's sponsored stories in the news feed will be similar.