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Facebook Launches Promoted Stories

Facebook is rolling out Sponsored Stories, a new way for brands to turn your friends’ interactions into promoted content.

Sponsored Stories will displace ad messages that are purely promotional copy in favor of ads that report on user actions. It is “a way for marketers to sponsor activities that happen throughout the News Feed,” said a Facebook executive. Essentially brands choose to take certain user actions — such as checkins or actions within Facebook apps — and feature them in the column on the right side of the News Feed.

“It’s about taking the word of mouth recommendations and endorsements that are happening across Facebook every day and increasing the distribution of those,” said Jim Squires, a product marketing lead at Facebook, according to Adweek.

The four types of user actions can be turned into promoted stories are: likes, checkins, actions within apps and page posts. A company with a custom app can promote the actions users take within the app as well as posting on the walls of the page. Sponsored Stories is similar to Twitter Promoted Tweets, with one key difference: the user defines the advertised content that they see in Facebook’s format, not the advertiser.

The service rolls out today to certain managed accounts and will be available to self-service accounts in the next few weeks. Major brands such as Coke, Playfish and Anheuser Bush are Facebook partners rolling out on the initial launch.

Here is Facebook promotional video for the service.