Forget making the world more open and connected. Facebook has a more pressing, arguably more difficult task ahead: creating ads that its billion users both "like" and actually like. "We weren't going to put a lot of ads into News Feed if people didn't think it was a good experience," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tells Vanity Fair's Kurt Eichenwald in a rare interview focusing on the new News Feed, for a lengthy feature released online today. Which... of course Facebook needs to maintain a "good experience," lest the social network scare away all those users, à la Myspace. So then how does Zuckerberg appeal to advertisers and appease his people at the same time?
The Facebook CEO obviously laid out his News Feed dilemma to Vanity Fair before he introduced the refresh a month ago at an event where he said the "personalized newspaper" needed to "reflect this evolving face" of users loving photos more than ever. And, well, he ended up not putting "a lot of ads into the News Feed" — he ended up making them a lot bigger. While many users still haven't seen the new News Feed roll out on their screen, the sponsored posts they will see are a lot more noticeable and often appear at the top of the feed. Surely, they'll bring in dollars, but they're also pretty invasive for users, which may run counter to the vision Zuckerberg laid out.