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Facebook branded contentWith the rise of ad blockers cutting into the bottom line, media companies have turned to sponsored content to gain back some of that revenue. But getting those posts in front of people as more and more traffic comes from Facebook has been hard, with the social network’s rules prohibiting sponsored content from being posted outside of ad buys.

Facebook branded post
Sponsored content will show up with a “with” tag, which is followed by the post’s sponsor. Image via Facebook.

Today, those rules are changing.

Users will begin to see a new “with” tag when media companies or other pages post sponsored content. Pages will have to go through a simple verification process to enable the posting of sponsored content, which can then be posted just like any other article, photo or video.

Sponsored content, also called native advertising or branded content, is made to look like it comes from a media company or another creator but is paid for, and approved by, an outside company, usually serving as an alternative to banner ads, popups or other traditional forms of advertising.

Facebook is a major source of traffic for many publishers. But with people clicking on just the articles they want to read, it can be hard for sponsored posts to gain traction. But the new rules allow for much more frequent posting of sponsored posts, with clear labeling, which could increase the value of branded content for advertisers and lead to more lucrative opportunities for publishers.

In addition to the ability to post branded content, media companies will also be able to share metrics on sponsored posts with the advertiser. The sponsoring company can even use a streamlined “Share & Boost” button to turn the sponsored content into a more traditional sponsored post in the Facebook news feed, getting the article or video in front of targeted audiences just like a standard Facebook ad.

However, there are still some restrictions on sponsored content. Facebook is prohibiting ads that are “overly promotional,” including pre-roll ads on videos and persistent watermarks on photos.

The branded content tool will roll out to all verified Facebook Pages in the coming weeks.

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