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X Enhances Ad Formats for a More Native In-Stream Appearance

X is modifying its ad formats to blend seamlessly into user timelines, making them harder to differentiate from regular posts. This move, however, may raise concerns over FTC requirements.

X's Ad Formats Update for More Native Appearance

Have you found that ads on your X timeline are starting to blend seamlessly with regular posts? This appears to be a deliberate move by X. Recently, the platform shifted its ad disclosure indicators from a noticeable "Promoted" tag situated at the bottom left to a smaller "Ad" label at the top right of posts.

X is taking this a step further by testing a revised ad display format that makes the primary image appear much like a standard visual attachment. The ad link is denoted by a small in-image URL marker instead of an additional CTA bar at the bottom.

As observed by X Daily News, these updates make advertisements resemble regular posts, potentially increasing the likelihood of users tapping on them. This could be a clever move by X, given its efforts to enhance the relevance of ads appearing in user feeds.

However, this strategy could raise concerns with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Current FTC guidelines mandate that all advertisements be "clearly and conspicuously" indicated within apps. The FTC might not be impressed by X's updates as they somewhat obscure ad disclosure in the feed.

The move by X suggests that either the FTC has already approved the new format, or enforcement action may be forthcoming. Given X's rapid pace of change under Elon Musk's leadership, the latter seems more plausible. The FTC may yet need to fully examine these changes and determine their validity.

In the meantime, X continues its experiment with ad formats to make them appear more native in user feeds.