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Friends for sale

Like death and taxes, Facebook has become an inevitable part of life. While some people aren't comfortable with the way the company analyses our social lives and generates targeted advertising to match, we all put up with it as the price of the convenience and fun the service offers.

Well, will this be the final straw for some users? Facebook has taken the monetising (Silicon Valley-speak for 'selling' of our friendships a step further with its new 'Sponsored Stories'.

You know how the ads on Facebook sometimes tell you when a friend has 'liked' the thing being advertised? Well, now they can do more - they can tell you when a friend checks in at an advertiser's branch, or posted on the page of an advertiser. Basically Facebook advertisers will be able to 'sponsor' the everyday things your friends do around the site.

Now, don't freak out too much - your actual, beloved News Feed will remain unsullied by advertiser logos. Instead, News Feed stories that have been sponsored will appear in a special ad space on the right.

Still, we reckon this'll get a few privacy types riled up. What do you think? Are you sick of Facebook selling your social life? Or are you happy as long as it means you can poke for free?

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