Facebook to monetise your “Likes”

Facebook Like Ad

Sample of Like Ad

Facebook is considering providing advertisers with a new way to advertise and promote their brand.

When a user “likes” a brand they will have the opportunity of buying an ad unit that will show up on the right-hand side under the heading of “sponsored stories.”

This will give the brand-related action increased visibility on Facebook by adding them to an ad unit in addition to appearing in a users’ news feed.

Existing user settings to control whose feeds they see and who sees their feed will also apply to the sponsored stories. Users, however, will not be able to opt out of having their action turned into an ad and having that broadcast to their connections on Facebook.

If Starbucks buys a “sponsored story” (see above), the status post will run twice: once in the user’s news feed, and again as a paid ad for Starbucks.

There are a number of styles and options the proposed ads can take eg there are four possible buys for advertisers, page likes and check-ins, and actions Facebook is calling application play and page posts.

For example, an application play would work where a user goes to the Coca-Cola page, and Coke has an app available to upload photos, the sponsored story that appears as an ad will read “John Smith used the Coke app to upload a photo“.

A page post, however, would be when an advertiser posts something and wants more exposure and visibility. They can buy a sponsored story to further distribute that post. It would not only appear in the news feed but also on the right-hand side of the home page.

There has been some criticism of the new options as although they are clearly marked as “sponsored”, in the case of likes, check-ins and application plays they include the user’s name, just like it would in the news feed but there is no opt-out for the user, at least, not at this time.

The danger, of course, in the attempt to monetizing the Like feature for Facebook is while it offers and enhances the advertisers’ opportunity to reach a wider target audience, provides Facebook with additional income, it pisses off Facebook users and diminishes the over all experience becoming an overloaded advertising platform rather than the reason many users started using it in the first-place.

Like everything – time will tell!

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