Title: Going native on Facebook: a content analysis of sponsored messages on undergraduate student Facebook pages

Authors: Cynthia B. Hanson

Addresses: Earl N. Phillips School of Business, High Point University, One University Parkway, Drawer 42, High Point, NC 27268, USA

Abstract: This paper examines the prevalence and nature of sponsored messages on Facebook. Results of a content analysis of desktop and mobile Facebook pages from 52 undergraduate student subjects showed 53% of sponsored messages in the desktop sample and 100% of sponsored messages in the mobile sample would be categorised as native advertising, as they were located in the user's news feed. Approximately 12% of all news feed posts were sponsored posts and almost 90% of sponsored news feed posts were based on the user's or user's friends' actions. The majority of the sponsoring advertisers were from companies established after the year 2000, and only 11% were leading US advertisers.

Keywords: advertising; content analysis; Facebook; native advertising; social media; sponsored messages.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2018.089213

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2018 Vol.12 No.1, pp.91 - 104

Received: 27 May 2017
Accepted: 20 Jun 2017

Published online: 26 Dec 2017 *

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