Facebook launches a new ad format called Sponsored Story, which basically turns friends’ activities such as likes and checkins into promoted content for a brand.
The Sponsored Story is a way for brands to increase their exposure on Facebook by having a certain percentage of the activities related to your brand featured on the right side of the news feed where other ads are also shown.
So, brands can buy a certain percentage of coverage, and Facebook then shows the users the content that are relevant to them in the shape of friends’ actions. When users see their friends liking something og checkin in somewhere, it will increase traffic to the page or place.
The Sponsored Story will be rolled out from today and has four specific tupes of user actions that can be turned into ad stories: likes, checkins, application actions and page posts.
If for instance the Coca-Cola Facebook page has a customized app to send a greeting, the sponsored story shown as and ad may read: ”Sara Hansen used the Coke app to send a greeting.” However, the activity cannot distinguish between positive and negative sentiment, so the ad will be featuring all kind of actions, whether it may be ”having a lovely coffee at Starbucks” or ”the coffee sucks at Starbucks”. Advertisers would then have to flag the content as inappropriate in order to not having it featured.
Facebook has a number of launch partners, which will be using the feature from start, such as Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Anheuser-Busch, Amnesty International, Unicef and others. This kind of advertising is fit for a platform like Facebook, where brands can benefit from the users’ social activity and turn it into word-of-mouth. Also, for Facebook it is an effective way to monetize the platform.
News feed activity:
Turned into a Sponsored Story: