Your Facebook friends are going to start trying to sell you things. The social media giant is rolling out a new format called “Sponsored Stories” that it describes as “a way for marketers to sponsor activities that happen throughout the News Feed,” allowing statuses to be turned into four different types of featured stories for advertising partners: Likes, Checkins, Actions within Custom Application and Page posts. Although the program shares similarities with Twitter’s Promoted Tweets, the key difference is that users will be the ones to control the featured stories, with advertisers merely paying to have their mentions appear in a Sponsored Stories slot on the front page. “The advertiser is not controlling the message,” explains Facebook’s Jim Squires, “It’s about actions.”
Partners for the launch of this program, happening today, include Coke, Levi’s and Anheuser Busch, with other advertisers being able to buy slots as they wish.
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