Facebook starts Sponsored Stories – New ad model

Facebook starts a new advertising format that focuses on the “check-ins” and “likes” of Facebook users, and thus their friends. The new commercial product uses the traditional business or product recommendations that can be seen in other ad formats of the company.

Facebook calls the new advertising model Sponsored Stories (watch the descriptive video). It gives marketers the option to identify activities that members to target those peoples’ friends. The Facebook News Feed becomes the driver of the acitivity. Companies and brands can feature these activities via check-ins, custom applications and page posts (i.e. discount offers) in a column on the right members’ friends.

Sponsored Stories highlight the actions of friends while giving advertisers no control over messages. So, it is not a straight forward promotion but all advertising may be considered by viewers as company or product recommendations. However, it is not the companies that know where the advertsing goes but the users with their activities.

Compared to Twitter and their Promoted Tweets this is a new approach. Promoted Tweets focusses specific tweets tied to keywords which gives advertisers full control over their commercial messages. Facebook Sponsored Stories are following a bidding system. Slots are on a per-impression and per-click basis.

Spot On!
In my eyes, this is aclever approach to use the activities of Facebook users to generate revenue. The only question stays if the users want to have their face and name used for commercial formats of this kind. What if a user doens’t want to be “used” for commercial purposes of brands? It suggest that users need to have the option to turn this commercial feature off. And I can imagine that some will be saying “And where is my rev share?”

What comes up to your mind when you think about it? Join the conversation…