Facebook recently announced a new advertising scheme. Instead of using celebrities to hawk products, it will use . . . you! That’s right, pictures of you and your friends will appear on Facebook ads to make products more enticing to Facebook customers.
As Facebook’s website describes its new “Social Ads” program:
Facebook Social Ads allow your businesses to become part of people’s daily conversations. Ads can be displayed in the left hand Ad Space — visible to users as they browse Facebook to connect with their friends — as well as in the context of News Feed — attached to relevant social stories. The social stories, such as a friend’s becoming a fan of your Facebook Page or a friend’s taking an action on your website, make your ad more interesting and more relevant. Social Ads are placed in highly visible parts of the site without interrupting the user experience on Facebook.
Here’s the sample ad that Facebook includes on its social ad description page:
According to the NY Times:
Facebook wants to put your face on advertisements for products that you like.
Facebook .com is a social networking site that lets people accumulate “friends” and share preferences and play games with them. Each member creates a home page where he or she can post photographs, likes and dislikes and updates about their activities.
Yesterday, in a twist on word-of-mouth marketing, Facebook began selling ads that display people’s profile photos next to commercial messages that are shown to their friends about items they purchased or registered an opinion about.
For example, going forward, a Facebook user who rents a movie on Blockbuster.com will be asked if he would like to have his movie choice broadcast out to all his friends on Facebook. And those friends would have no choice but to receive that movie message, along with an ad from Blockbuster.
At this point in reading the article, it seems as though participation in the ads (by the person being used in the ad) is fully consensual. But the article goes on to say: