Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Facebook Sponsored Stories: Making Spammers of Us All?

The $1.8 billion in advertising revenue Facebook generates is clearly not enough. Those clever bods over at the social networking giant have now come up with a new way to rake it in from advertisers and it involves using you, or more specifically, the things you like.

According to Facebook, "When we make decisions about products we want to buy or places we want to go, we are basically looking for cues from our friends about what those things should be... when we make a decision, we're looking for information, and we want that information to come from people we trust,"

Enter Sponsored Stories, which allows advertisers to capitalise on word-of-mouth recommendations made by the people who use Facebook, by promoting check-ins to their locations, or people liking their products.

Now if you check-in to a bar or restaurant, or like a product or brand it could feature as an advert on the right-hand column on all your friend's Facebook pages. Advertisers can effectively see to it that your friends never miss out on what you like or where you are, for as long as their wallets allow. Sound good? No? Well tough, because Facebook won't even let you opt out.

Will Sponsored Stories effectively turn us into spammers, constantly bombarding our friends with endless streams of advertising about brands, products and services? Or, in a day and age where we see millions of adverts each day, is it just another bit of promotion we can choose to ignore?

Check out the video below, see how it will work and post a comment to let me know what you think.

What do you think?

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