Your face: Starring in a Facebook ad near you

Facebook has begun using subscribers' faces in sponsored advertisements. The next stop? Ads inside Farmville and other Facebook apps.

By  

Remember back in January when Facebook announced its new plan to use your Likes in “sponsored stories”? (See “Facebook ads use your face for free.”) Well, they’re heeeeeerrrre.

Last week Facebook finally began rolling out this ad campaign, which is based on the as-yet-unproven premise that if you find out one or more of your friends like a product, you’ll be more favorably inclined to it as well. For example, check out the following ad.

 

Is it just me, or does that ad read like my sister Eileen really enjoys a heaping bowl of Purina Cat Chow?

[ See also: That new Facebook friend might just be a spy ]

Actually, this ad appeared briefly on my Facebook page two weeks ago, then instantly disappeared before I could click on it and find out the answer. So it was either a test or a mistake.

The following somewhat more subtle sponsored ad (though not a “sponsored story,” in Facebook’s increasingly muddled nomenclature) showed up on my page this morning:

OK, now I am totally confused. If I too click the “Like” button, am I signaling that I like American Express, the Microsoft Xbox Kinect, the fact I can get something for half off, or simply that my “friends” (most of whom I would be unable to pick out of a police lineup) like it too and I’m just a hopeless sycophant?

(As an aside: Those Amex ads are like flypaper – I can’t seem to get rid of them today no matter how many times I refresh or click on other profiles. Looks like somebody jumped into the “sponsored” ad concept with both feet.)

Then there's this sponsored ad:

No, that Cracked-loving schmoe with the 'fro is not my Facebook friend Kevin D -- though you might easily make that mistake.  

Don’t like it? Then don’t “Like” it – or anything else. Because once you do, Facebook will share your stated preference with whomever you’ve allowed to read your status updates and other News Feed posts. There is no opting out. Facebook can use your name and profile image alongside any product you endorse, per its privacy policy.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Answers - Powered by ITworld

ITworld Answers helps you solve problems and share expertise. Ask a question or take a crack at answering the new questions below.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question
randomness