LinkedIn is now serving Facebook-like ads from companies you don’t follow

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Much like Facebook’s in-stream sponsored posts, LinkedIn’s new Sponsored Updates will start dishing out content from companies who pay for the privilege.

In a blog post today, LinkedIn product exec David Hahn explained that the ads will be delivered into members’ home feeds and will only be available to companies with a LinkedIn rep for now.

The feature will start to roll out as a self-serve ad product to all organizations with a Company Page by the end of the month.

“Through Sponsored Updates, we’ve created an environment for brands to share business content like presentations, videos, and company news with a professional community in a highly targeted way,” said company rep Fenot Tekle in an email exchange with VentureBeat.

“What we’re striving for is relevancy, so we will be placing updates in member’s feeds only when it is targeted and appropriate. As we fine tune our algorithms over time, the number of Sponsored Updates will vary, but will always strike a balance between organic and sponsored content in a non-intrusive manner. As always, we are approaching this from a member-first perspective.”

The content will be designated with text reading “Sponsored” and is intended to be less like an advertisement and more like, well, Internet-friendly content intended “to inform, educate, and inspire” readers and viewers.

Sponsored Updates can include articles, videos, slideshows, and research or white papers. Updates can be targeted to LinkedIn members based on their profile data. For example, Rolex could target ads at VPs, SVPs, and C-suite employees only.

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