Social networking site Facebook has come up with a new advertising model that sells users activities as advertisements that friends see.
The site calls it Sponsored Stories, but for advertisers it is a benefit, as users help them market and promote brands when they click the "Like" buttons.
"If you can get your advertising into the activity feed, that's the best time to touch people -- and the launch of sponsored stories is doing just that," Fox News quoted Vijay Pullur, CEO of social media marketing company SocialTwist, as saying.
Pullur pointed out that the move was completely expected in the advertising world, and that it was even inevitable.
"From a user's perspective, it's a bit of a scarecrow. People are doing 'Likes' thinking it's a personal thing, not a commercial thing," Pullur said.
Facebook downplayed the significance of the announcement, which the company unveiled to the advertising trade press.
"You will never see a Sponsored Story unless you would already see it in your news feed," Cyndi Schott, who handles public relations for Facebook, explained.
When a person comments about liking something on his page, it can be seen by others, and that in turn gets free advertisement for the product, and Schott said Sponsored Stories work the same way.
"They would have to already be able to see them in their news feed. So a Sponsored Story would only show up to users that were supposed to see the original post," she said.
But negative comments about a product will not be taken explained Ad Age magazine, as Facebook has developed a model for handling those comments an advertiser might not want associated with its brand.
"As a marketer, you can say that I'm only going to do 'like' stories, since there is no way to change that," Facebook marketing lead Jim Squires told the magazine.
"So you can figure out which is the best option for your organization," he added.