The Facebook Ticker is a controversial new feature that Facebook introduced in August of this year. It basically displays a history of friend activity on the popular social networking site; It notifies you when friend's like something or when they leave a comment on Facebook. The core difference between the ticker and the main news stream on Facebook is that the ticker updates in realtime, and that it lists likes and such that do not always make it into the big news feed.
Soon, there will be another distinction. Facebook is currently rolling out a new feature that they call sponsored stories. These sponsored stories tie in with Facebook's social advertising strategy. Businesses can promote their services on Facebook with the help of this new feature.
Several friend activities can trigger a sponsored story: page likes, page posts, page post likes, check ins, app shares, apps used and games played, and domain stories.
Here is how it works. A company decides to promote their products or services on Facebook. When one of your friends on Facebook triggers one of the actions above, a sponsored story may appear in your news ticker. Facebook gives one example on the Sponsored Stories for users faq pages:
For example, if your friend likes the Starbucks Page and a story about it is published in your News Feed, you may see a Sponsored Story about it if Starbucks has opted to promote it.
When you look at the Sponsored Stories for Businesses and Organizations, everything becomes clearer.
Sponsored Stories allow you to surface word-of-mouth recommendations about your brand that exist organically in the Facebook News Feed. To promote your Page, you can use Sponsored Stories to surface both Page Likes and Page Post Likes. For example, if a person’s friends like a Page, in addition to potentially seeing that news story in their News Feed, they can now also see the same story on the right-hand column on Facebook. Additionally, if you create a Page post and someone likes the post, this story can now appear on the right-hand column as well as in the News Feed.
The big issue here is that the ads do not look like advertisement at all. Take a look at a sample that you can create when you try to create sponsored stories as a business or organization.
It basically states[friend's name] likes [business name].
Facebook users who do not want to see sponsored stories or the Facebook ticker on Facebook can install browser extensions or userscripts to disable the feature.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.