Facebook’s New Sponsored Stories Claim Their First Victim

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Last month, I posted a bit in our weekly email newsletter about Facebook’s creepy new advertising product in which users’ status updates are “sponsored” by advertisers and displayed next to their friends’ news feeds:

How do you feel about your name, likeness, and life story being used, for free, to promote a brand?

Today, The Next Web has the story of Nick Bergus, who unwittingly became a spokesman for 55-gallon drums of lube:

A week later, a friend posts a screen capture and tells me that my post has been showing up next to his news feed as a sponsored story, meaning Amazon is paying Facebook to highlight my link to a giant tub of personal lubricant.

Other people start reporting that they’re seeing it, too. A fellow roller derby referee. A former employee of a magazine I still write for. My co-worker’s wife. They’re not seeing just once, but regularly. Said one friend: “It has shown up as one on mine every single time I log in.”

It’s never not a good time to delete your Facebook account.


Over 3 years later, “deleted” Facebook photos are still online

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Yet another reason to go ahead and delete your Facebook account:

Facebook is still working on deleting photos from its servers in a timely manner nearly three years after Ars first brought attention to the topic The company admitted on Friday that its older systems for storing uploaded content “did not always delete images from content delivery networks in a reasonable period of time even though they were immediately removed from the site,” but said it’s currently finishing up a newer system that makes the process much quicker. In the meantime, photos that users thought they “deleted” from the social network months or even years ago remain accessible via direct link.

Apparently it’s as hard for Facebook to delete your photos as it is for you to actually delete your entire account.

How Does Facebook Make Money?

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Dan Frommer on Facebook’s recent IPO filing:

Facebook’s IPO filing this week confirmed what we already knew: Facebook makes the vast majority of its money by selling ads on its site.

But now we know just how much of its revenue comes from advertising: 85% in 2011, with the remaining 15% coming from payments and fees.

It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating: if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product.