Similar to Twitter’s take on advertising using promoted tweets to reach Twitter users, Facebook officials are planning to slowly roll out Sponsored Stories within the real-time ticker at the top right hand side of the page. According to Clickz, Facebook spokesperson Annie Ta stated: “Starting on Monday, we are continuing to slowly roll out Sponsored Stories in [the] ticker across Facebook. Sponsored Stories help people see more relevant marketing on Facebook and they can be twice as engaging as ads on Facebook.” These ads will likely appear at the top of the Facebook ticker when a user logs into Facebook and gradually move down the ticker as new stories from other feeds are added.
Originally launched during January 2011, Sponsored Stories uses status updates that utilize brand tags to populate ad placements on the site. For instance, if a user tags themselves as shopping at Best Buy, that comment may appear on friend pages in the form of an advertisement that promotes the brand. By including more Sponsored Stories within the ticker, Facebook users will have a more difficult time differentiating between a recent status update and an ad placement to promote a brand. Sponsored Stories also utilize brand likes within the advertising placements, however like the brand isn’t necessary to see the advertisement appear in the real-time ticker.
Twitter recently expanded the promoted tweets program to appear in all feeds rather than just feeds of Twitter users that follow a particular brand. Started during September 2011, Twitter users have the ability to delete promoted tweets from the timeline, but users cannot opt out of the program. Promoted tweets appear at the top of the page when a users logs in and fall down the page while the user is active on Twitter.