Emily Maitlis

Sponsored stories

5 December 2011

“You can call it a story, many people would call it an advertisement”.  Emily Maitlis’ report on life inside Facebook, and the money making machine Zuckerberg has successfully managed to transform the social network into, is going viral, like everything Fb does these days.

With an IPO just around the corner that would value Fb at more than US$100 billion and each of us, users, at more than $125; the word “privacy” still gives hives to Mr Zuckerberg and his team.

It’s not the first, nor the last, Fb will get an “insights” documentary shot within their premises with interviews of their top execs, pre-founders, employees…. but if each time there’s a program or news piece on the company “issues” and “voices” warn about the same old ghost, then something is not working properly.

Right now on our fb page (and we know this changes every time we log in) we have two sponsored stories and 4 ads occupying an entire column of the 4 column-layout the current version has. The “people you may know” suggesting tab barely appears from time to time and those tricky “sponsored stories” telling us how much our friends love another brand (who has paid to be shown there) are more omnipresent than ever. This is their latest ad-engineered baby, and it’s proving successful, while it plays with our feelings.

Would you agree for fb to use your name and photo when saying “Mr or Mss so-and-so likes this brand” without you knowing? The latest controversial advertising service in a long love-hate relationship between the blue giant … and our personal privacy.

The program is still available on BBC’s iplayer, and you can even download it, a definitely must-see report and great work by the people at Money Program.

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