Your Facebook status is now a company ad

Ever felt like you missed your friend Timmy's third check-in of the day at Starbucks on Facebook? Probably not. But Facebook sure thinks you have, and they have now found a way to monetize that specifically to you. Your content on Facebook, more specifically your Facebook Places check-ins or user recommended published stories, may soon end up as an advertisement on the website.

Facebook is dubbing the new ad service Sponsored Stories. In short, you would go out somewhere, check in to that location, and the company of that establishment would decide to promote your status update with the check-in as a Sponsored Story. The same is true if you saw a page on another website and recommended it to your Facebook friends through their news feed. Your status update would then appear on the right column of the homepage for others to not only see, but to hopefully like your status and like the establishment's or company's Facebook page, as well. And before you ask, no, you can't opt-out of the service.

But don't worry too much. The company was quick to clear up any misinformation about your content becoming public for just anyone to view: "A sponsored story never goes to anyone who is not one of your friends," said Kent Schoen, product manager for Facebook, in a video yesterday announcing the new service.

Facebook is predicting that these "word of mouth recommendations" (which the social network giant says is not regularly seen by users because of the overload of content available) from your own friends will increase brand lift and ad recall, as well as a user's own likeliness to recommend that same story to a friend.

The service started off yesterday for their premium advertisers.

Image credit: Facebook

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43 Comments

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I don't see how this is a problem. All they're doing is letting businesses pay them to pull your (already shared) check-ins into the ads area on the right for (your already friended) people to more easily see.

Mountain out of a mole hill?

I just don't use facebook. Nothing, absolutely nothing on that site is private from ANYONE and through the months the public is finding out. I thought firesheep would be enough to make people reconsider.

Who needs RFID's? We're already volunteering our privacy up for free!

Also the one reason I don't use Places and a plethora of other tracking "services" on Facebook.

Facebook = Social MoneyMaking Network. They use the front of a social networking as the biggest way for company/Mark to make billions in todays world.

Morphine-X said,
Facebook = Social MoneyMaking Network. They use the front of a social networking as the biggest way for company/Mark to make billions in todays world.

Duh?

Microsoft uses the front of a software company, Google uses the front of a search company, and Apple uses the front of mobile devices company.

Everyone wants money, they just use different tactics to get it. I personally chose to use the front of a software developer to get my employer to pay me.

Cool ... facebook can do what they like if it's not opening our personal info to the public. Because ... they own the site, and if you don't like it, get off the site. Simples

Spirit Dave said,
Cool ... facebook can do what they like if it's not opening our personal info to the public. Because ... they own the site, and if you don't like it, get off the site. Simples

You have friends? They are people right? They will only invite you to the movies if you accept the invite using facebook? Not so simple!! (unless you happen to not have friends)

smithy_dll said,

You have friends? They are people right? They will only invite you to the movies if you accept the invite using facebook? Not so simple!! (unless you happen to not have friends)

Sorry? What? lol. I don't understand what you're saying. My closest friends will connect with me in real life. The acquaintances I have on Facebook are people I'm interested in what they're doing, but am not desperately in need of being contacted or invited by them to things. Not sure what you're getting at.

I cant help but recall that image of julian assange. Where he says he gives us information on corporations for free, and he's a villain. Yet mark sells your information to corporations and he's the man of the year.

Shea J said,
I cant help but recall that image of julian assange. Where he says he gives us information on corporations for free, and he's a villain. Yet mark sells your information to corporations and he's the man of the year.

Its the government/media that display him as a villain for whistle blowing... its just the way how this world runs.

Mark on the other hand has been investing and making the web a more "connected" place. I see ads on TV now that dont have much of a wide online media, yet add a facebook link on the ad or show

Shea J said,
I cant help but recall that image of julian assange. Where he says he gives us information on corporations for free, and he's a villain. Yet mark sells your information to corporations and he's the man of the year.

Assange was opening up quite sensitive info and giving no one any choices over it. Facebook doesn't do that. You have choices over this. If you don't like certain things, disable them ... if you can't disable them and it's still too big of a deal for you, then quit facebook and go back to MySpace Choice. People should stop complaining about a free service.

Shea J said,
I cant help but recall that image of julian assange. Where he says he gives us information on corporations for free, and he's a villain. Yet mark sells your information to corporations and he's the man of the year.

Key difference between the two being that "you" consented to giving your information & allowing it to be resold / reused.

Mocosoft said,

In exchange of your privacy..

If you have privacy concerns, you shouldn't add any personal details online, period. People need to understand that when you join sites like that, you have the right to input your personal information, no one forces you to do anything.

Placing an ad for a corporate company for eg starbucks or mcdonalds, that my dear is called smart, and making money, isnt necessarily big or in your face, its probably relevant to the "places" you have been.

Mocosoft said,

In exchange of your privacy..

Quit facebook then. Stop complaining for crying out loud. Some people expect it all for nothing. You get the best social networking site 100% for free. You have zero rights to complain if you continue using it. I said it to someone else, you have choice. Stop using the service if you're going to act ungrateful about it.

Spirit Dave said,

You get the best social networking site 100% for free.

I'd argue with that statement. It's not the best social networking site, just the most used.

Hackersoft MS MVP said,

I'd argue with that statement. It's not the best social networking site, just the most used.

Then which one? hi5? lolz

Spirit Dave said,

Quit facebook then. Stop complaining for crying out loud. Some people expect it all for nothing. You get the best social networking site 100% for free. You have zero rights to complain if you continue using it. I said it to someone else, you have choice. Stop using the service if you're going to act ungrateful about it.

Already did. No need of it, plenty of alternatives.

Mocosoft said,

Already did. No need of it, plenty of alternatives.

Great. I dunno about you, but 99% of my friends don't use Bebo and MySpace etc If yours do, great. However, quitting facebook is stupid, because so far there are zero reasons to complain. When they start stealing your credit card information, you can complain. Til then, they're doing nothing that other sites haven't been doing for years.

sexypeperodri said,
Good thing I don't use the Places thing.

Yeah. And I honestly don't understand those that do. Why does everyone beed to know where you are every minute of the day?

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah. And I honestly don't understand those that do. Why does everyone beed to know where you are every minute of the day?

If your friends want to know where you are, wouldn't a simple text message of "where u @ dawg" suffice?

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,
it says in the terms of use that they can do that,, so not suprised

im guessing from the amount of people actually shocked about that,, didnt read it


My thoughts exactly... Also... If you don't want the public to see it, don't post it.

GS:win

InterceptorX said,
I'd cancel my account if I didn't enjoy stalking people so much...

you didn't think stalking people could making other people so rich, didn't ya?