Facebook’s sponsored stories

Facebook users who use Places to check into a store or “like” a fan page will be soon finding it posted to their friends’ Facebooks, and so far, there are no plans to allow people to ‘opt out’.

The idea is to give advertisers greater word-of-mouth opportunties to see. The new, promoted posts would keep the same privacy setting that the original posting had. So if you limit your check-ins to a specific group of friends, only these same friends would see the sponsored story version later.

The promoted content will appear on the right side of users’ Facebooks where regular ads, friend requests, events, etc are highlighted.It remains to be seen if users will tolerate having their networks leveraged for commercial purposes this way.

There is bound to be some objection, but my view is that Facebook brings us so many benefits, that it’s worth letting this feature roll out if it helps keep the social network free to use.

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Sherrilynne Starkie is a consultant at PDMS. For almost 18 years, Sherrilynne has been advising blue-chip organisations on both sides of the pond, covering Britain, Canada and the United States. For three years, Sherrilynne was the Tech Talk columnist for the Isle of Man newspapers. She serves on the steering committee for Isle of Man Women in Business, is on the Executive Council for the Isle of Man Junior Chamber of Commerce. In the past she was on the management committee for the Isle of Man British Computer Society and the marketing committee of Junior Achievement.