Facebook lets advertisers 'sponsor' user updates

Facebook is rolling out options for advertisers to pay to "sponsor" comments people make about businesses, places or products at the world's largest online social network.

A Sponsored Stories tool allows advertisers to take "word of mouth recommendations and promote them" to eye-catching notices on Facebook user pages, engineers at the firm said in an online video Wednesday.

"It's not a message saying you should buy this thing or you should come to this website," an engineer said in the Facebook Marketing Solutions video. "It's your friend saying 'Look, I did this and I want to tell you about it.'"

Sponsored Stories are updates or location check-ins that Facebook members post to be seen by friends and are only shared with those in a person's chosen circle of contacts at the online community.