For the none of you who really, really wanted to have your Facebook updates automatically converted into ads for which you receive no money — and which you can’t opt out of — the site has answered your prayers!
Facebook is rolling out a new program that allows advertisers to use your status updates for their own buzz-generating purposes.
For example, if you write an update saying “Just bought me some Starbucks” or you “check in” at a Starbucks location, Starbucks can take that update, slap their logo on it and label it a “Sponsored Story.”
Facebook says that only your “friends” will be able to see sponsored stories generated by your updates. Unfortunately, there is currently no way for users to opt out of the program.
So that means you’re not only not getting paid for unwittingly shilling for a company — one you may not even like — but that you also have no say in how your content is being used.
A Facebook product manager tries to keep a straight face as he explains the reasoning behind this in a video about the new ads:
Anything that one of your friends is seeing as a sponsored story which features some of your content is actually something they would have already seen in their news feed… A sponsored story never goes to somebody who is not one of your friends.
But isn’t it one thing to tell your friends “Just had that new Burger King burger” and another for Burger King to use it in a paid ad for which you receive zero remuneration?
And you know it won’t be long before savvy Facebook users figure out how to get Starbucks and other advertisers to sponsor crude and/or obscene updates. We await hilarious screengrabs.