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Facebook’s Sponsored Stories Turn Your Posts Into Ads Trend: Emerging Ad Format

January 28, 2011

Trend: Emerging Ad Format


A recent update to Facebook allows brands the opportunity to take user Facebook activity—such as status updates, Facebook application use, or Facebook Places check-ins—and then transform that content into advertisements for their products.

These advertisements will be displayed on the sidebar and will feature the name of the Facebook friend that created the content, the ability to click through to the brand’s Facebook page and the ability to “like” the brand immediately—if a friend “likes” a page that, in turn, creates new content.

These appropriated personal recommendations take content that would normally have been displayed in a user’s News Feed and positions it on the sidebar as a much more static advertisement. By using items that would have appeared in the News Feed of the user’s friends, the advertising becomes more of a trusted resource to the consumer and is more effective than advertisements on their own. Early testing by Facebook has shown an increase in overall lift around brand recall and increased purchase intent.

The Sponsored Stories update should be pushed live this upcoming Tuesday (Feb. 1, 2011) and, as of now, there doesn’t appear to be an option available for users to opt-out of having their Facebook activity become sponsored stories.



Businesses that are location-specific, such as retailers and restaurants, highly driven by word of mouth, such as fashion and consumer products, or are focused on the circulation of news and entertainment stories all stand to benefit from the surfacing of personal recommendations that may be missed by the current speed of the News Feed.

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