Facebook’s Sponsored Stories: Social Actions Become Ads

The social network has created a remarkable new ad platform based on friend activity.

Image above is an illustration by Mashable

Though you might have been told as a kid “just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to” — as adults, it’s hard not to be swayed by what our friends are thinking and doing. It’s with this mentality that companies hope to utilize Facebook’s new changes to their benefit.

As of today, groups will be able to turn actions (like visiting a store or checking-in at a restaurant) into sponsored content. In addition, if a company has their own app it can promote actions users take within them. This also applies to users posting on the walls of brands.

This content will then appear on the side of your Facebook page, in essence allowing the consumer to promote a brand they like organically.  It will be great for users, because instead of having seemingly random and sometimes offensive ads pop-up on their screen, they can connect with companies they already love. While advertisers DO have to pay for their company to be sponsored, from there its popularity is based solely on how often Facebook users mention it in their posts.

As Facebook Product Marketing Lead Jim Squires recently told Mashable:

“[Sponsored Stories] is …a way for marketers to sponsor activities that happen throughout the News Feed…The advertiser is not controlling the message; it’s about actions.”

Currently signed on for the new project are big name brands like Coke and Levi’s, in addition to charitable nonprofits like Girl Up!, Malaria No More, Amnesty International, and UNICEF. Though these are just a few choosing to take part in the new advertising platform, in the true “spirit” of Facebook democratization anybody will be able to bid on Sponsored Story slots (by a per-impression and/or a per-click basis). For those companies looking to see where the future of advertising is going, all you need to do is log-on, join-in, and see where the pack takes you.

Facebook Sponsored Stories

Mashable: “Facebook Turns Friend Activity Into New Ad Format”

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