Facebook to pay millions to charity in ad settlement

The terms of a legal settlement regarding Facebook's "sponsored stories" feature emerged this weekend, according to a report: the social-networking juggernaut agreed to pay $10 million to charity to lay the matter to rest.

Reuters reported the news today, drawing from court documents it said were just made public.

The suit -- in which five Facebook users claimed the site violated California law and their right to privacy by publicizing their "likes" in advertisements without asking them, compensating them, or allowing them to opt out -- was settled toward the end of May.

U.S. … Read more

Facebook settles 'sponsored stories' lawsuit

Facebook has settled a lawsuit over its "sponsored stories" feature, in which plaintiffs claimed the social network violated users' right to privacy by publicizing their "likes" in advertisements without asking them or compensating them.

Details of the settlement weren't released, Reuters reported. The judge in the case last year rejected a Facebook request to dismiss the lawsuit and had scheduled a hearing on class-action certification for Thursday.

Facebook's sponsored-stories ads essentially display a user's name, picture, and a tagline asserting that the person "likes" a particular advertiser. These particular ads initially … Read more

Tumblr allows advertising at $25K a pop

Just one month ago, Tumblr CEO David Karp announced that displaying ads was the "complete last resort" for the microblogging service. Well, financial temptation must have gotten the better of him.

Tumblr announced the introduction of Tumblr Radar and Tumblr Spotlight today, which are two types of advertising products available to sponsors for an entry-level price of $25,000, according to VentureBeat. Although this is an about-face to what Karp said last month, there are still some conditions for potential advertisers.

First, the advertisers must be "approved" by Tumblr. Second, they must be willing to shell … Read more

Facebook inserts ads into users' news feeds

Facebook began inserting advertisements directly into users' news feeds today.

There won't be a lot of ads--just one per day--but they will be unsolicited. Instead of being on the right hand side of the page and marked "sponsored," they will appear randomly within users' news feeds and be labeled "featured."

According to Facebook's Help Center, "Businesses can pay to feature a post so there's a better chance you'll notice it." As an example, the Help Center writes, "Say you like your gym's Facebook Page. Some friends see the … Read more

Facebook: Ads help keep us free

Facebook has kicked off a new Web page explaining how and why the social network depends on advertising.

On its "About Advertising on Facebook," page, the company says it spends more than $1 billion each year to run its business, and so it relies on ads to pay the bills.

Addressing one touchy topic, Facebook stressed that it doen't sell your personal information to advertisers but rather makes its money from displaying the ads.

"Selling your information would actually be bad for Facebook. Here's why: Facebook was created to help you share and connect with … Read more

Facebook to plop sponsored story ads into your news feed

Facebook is aiming to ramp up the impact of its sponsored story ads by including them in your regular news feed starting next month.

Splashing onto the social network last January, sponsored stories are ads that tout brands and businesses based on the likes of you and your friends.

Generated when a Facebook member clicks on the "like" button for a certain page, the ads display the friend's name, photo, and a tagline proclaiming that the person likes a certain advertiser.

So far, sponsored stories have been relegated to the right side of your Facebook page along … Read more

Facebook lawsuit gets green light

Google+ introduces improvements just before the holidays, text-sending teens increase their data usage by 256 percent over last year, and a federal judge rules that a lawsuit targeting Facebook's "sponsored stories" can proceed.

Links from Monday's episode of Loaded:

Facebook lawsuit can proceed Facebook private messages for biz Google+ improvements Teens text way too much Japanese touchscreen vending machines Saudi prince invests in Twitter Subscribe:  iTunes (MP3)iTunes (320x180)iTunes (HD)RSS (MP3)RSS (320x180)RSS HD

Facebook can be sued over use of ads liked by friends, rules court

Facebook has landed in some legal hot water over its use of ads that snatch the names of members of the social network to promote a product or business.

In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., denied Facebook's request to dismiss a lawsuit over the practice of so-called sponsored stories. Such "stories," which started popping up this past January, create an ad based on the "likes" of a member's Facebook friends.

The ads typically display the friend's name, photo, and a caption asserting that the … Read more

The 404 771: Where the #dickbar is our totem (podcast)

We've been curious about how Twitter plans to make money off its services, and this weekend our questions were answered with one word: the dickbar. In-stream advertising has finally landed on the official Twitter iPhone app, and users will now see a top-mounted bar that shows "promoted" hashtags sponsored by advertisers who pay for the distraction.

The problem with these ads isn't that they're obtrusive or that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo initially told us they would be "organic to the platform," but that they're not specifically targeted at users, which makes sense because people use Twitter for a million different applications.

During this conversation, Wilson also reveals that he actually clicks on Google ads when he's shopping for things like headphones or, say, a house. I guess Jeff and I are so astonished at this because we're always looking for the quickest, easiest way to get rid of the annoying pop-ups.

The Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index shows, via statistical analysis of interviews with adults, that the happiest man in America is Alvin Wong: a tall, Asian-American, observant Jewish man who's at least 65 years old, married with children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business, and has a combined annual household income of at least $120k.

We certainly have a long way to go before we achieve pure bliss!

Apple rejected the controversial iBoobs application back… Read more

Facebook selling user content to advertisers

Your Facebook content may soon find its way into ads on the social network.

Facebook unveiled details yesterday about a new advertising initiative called Sponsored Stories. The effort allows advertisers to find mentions of their brands--either through Places check-ins, recommendations in a news feed, likes, or actions in a Facebook application--and repurpose them as advertisements on the site.

Facebook said that if a person currently checks in at a respective company's store or "likes" a brand page, the action often gets lost amid all the other content a user's friends may see. Sponsored Stories solves that … Read more