'Like" This? Maybe You Won't When You See the Ad
People have been told to be careful on Facebook a million times. Don't give away information. Keep personal statistics to yourself. Don't share photos that could get you fired. And now, be be careful about going to sponsored sites and "liking" something
Before the big ruckus was that if you "liked" a product, a cookie would be set on you that would follow you to different sites. Big wow. This makes cookies look like, well, a harmless snack. Now if you press the "Like" button and make comments at a commercial site with a six- or seven-figure advertising budget, you many find yourself starring in one of their next ads.
Yes, you, with your Facebook mug, your words—"Gee, I really like these Levi's jeans I bought the other day,"—and the familiar thumbs-up "like" button. Will you get paid for starring in the ad? Are you kidding? You are the equivalent of a passerby peeking into a store window and mumbling the same words. It's as if you were were caught by Candid Camera.
Don't "like" this? Want to opt out? Guess what? You can't. The only thing you can do is go nowhere near that "like" button at big multimillion-buck sites, or don't go there at all. One wag suggested saying something awful about their product and see if they actually read what they are putting up. Could be good for a laugh if their computer is just generating random people, but somehow I think you'd be weeded out.
So far the sites that are using this "like" ad technology are Starbucks, Coke, Levi's, and Budweiser.
Ad Age explains how it all works:
..."If Starbucks buys a 'sponsored story' ad, the status of a user's friends who check into or 'like' Starbucks will run twice: once in the user's news feed, and again as a paid ad for Starbucks. Though clearly marked with the words 'sponsored story,'the ad—which will include a user's name, just like the news feed—is not optional for Facebook users."
The best advice: when encountering sites for Starbucks, Coke, Levi's, and Budweiser...run away!