FaceBook Introduces Sponsored Stories

FaceBook has ramped up its advertising and has involved your friends, your “Likes” and your check-ins into a revenue stream.  Yes, FaceBook has included you as part of their advertising.

What are sponsored stories?

Sponsored stories are exact copies of the likes, comments and location check-ins that your FaceBook friends already post and show up as part of your news feeds.  However, with FaceBook’s sponsored stories, those posts get re-posted in the top right-hand column of the home page next to all the other FaceBook advertisements.

FaceBook labels these as Sponsored Stories and increases that chances that your friends will take notice because it will include the user’s name and a photo.

Are FaceBook’s Sponsored Stories a violation of privacy or FaceBook’s terms of service?

There is is no way for a person to opt out of Sponsored Stories and there is no notification that a post will be used as part of FaceBook’s Sponsored Stories.

This will not violate a user’s privacy says FaceBook’s Jim Squire, a lead on FaceBook’s marketing team.  FaceBook will ensure that Sponsored Stories obey all the privacy settings and sharing settings a user has established.  Because a user is in control of what their friends see, Sponsored Stories does nothing to impact that portion of the FaceBook experience.

These sponsored stories provides marketers with insight into how individuals are learning about products or services.  It expands the social experience of social networking.

What is unique about FaceBook’s Sponsored Stories is the fact posts will not be edited prior to showing up as an advertisement.  It does provide the possibility for bad reviews and comments to appear as a sponsored story and in turn be paid for by the company in question.

In launching Sponsored Stories FaceBook hopes to capitalize on the friend experience.  Research has consistently shown that friends tend to be drawn towards things their friends are doing.  With advertisers now being able to advertise based on what friends are actually doing by simply monitoring a social stream.

What’s your thoughts on FaceBook’s Sponsored Stories?