As you scrolled past the various Turkey Trot selfies and declarations of gratefulness on Facebook this week, did you notice the ads? If so, what’d you think of them?
Facebook envisions a day where you’d miss them if they were gone.
That’s the grand plan that co-director of product design Julie Zhou recently outlined at Adobe and InVision’s design conference in San Francisco.
“We want to one day show you a News Feed that doesn’t have ads and show you one that does have ads and have everyone say, ‘The News Feed with ads was better,'” Zhou says.
She said that Facebook has posters hanging around Facebook that say “Ads as good as organic.” Facebook wants to be able to understand your interests so well that it can tailor its ads so that they genuinely help you out on a regular basis.
“I don’t think making money is at odds with a great experience,” Zhou said. “We’re all consumers. We buy things. We want to know about things like deals. We’ve all seen advertising that has been inspiring and entertaining and useful. And that should be the bar for how we build a great ads product.”
That’s the end goal, but Facebook definitely isn’t quite there yet.
When I decided to take my own News Feed for an ad-enjoyability test drive, I found the experience underwhelming.
The first two ads I saw felt poorly selected:
The third however told me about a big Black Friday sale at a boutique retailer that looked interesting, which offered a much better fit.
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