Have you heard about the new Facebook feature? It’s called sponsored stories. Facebook has a reputation for shall we say “aggressive” marketing. But this is one of the worst marketing ideas ever.
Here’s what it does.
It takes something you post to your friends, check-ins and likes from other websites and highlights them in the right-hand column of their pages. They call it a “sponsored story.”
It almost sounds useful, but it’s actually a terrible idea.
So wrong. On so many levels.
First, they take your content, without permission or compensation of any kind. They don’t notify you that they are doing it. And, in fact, there was also no advance notice of the new feature.
Second, you cannot block your content from becoming an ad. There’s no opt-out.
Third, it works for anything you “like” on the web (not just on facebook). So if you “like” something on “Wired”, and “Wired” buys advertising, your “like” becomes free advertising. If you mention you just had a Budweiser beer, your post becomes a Budweiser ad (they’re one of the early sponsors).
Fourth, they’re using your posts to spam your friends. The content goes out with your post, and your name on it.
Fifth, they’re charging advertisers money for this.
It’s theft, it’s interruption, and it’s spammy.
Have you heard of this? What do you think? Am I right? Or doesn’t it matter?