Facebook updated its Ticker over the weekend to allow posts from more types of user activity and Sponsored Stories. These additions turn Ticker’s automatic-content stream feature into a more lively activity hub on the home page.
It seemed that Sponsored Stories would eventually appear in the site-wide Ticker after Facebook mixed condensed Sponsored Sponsored stories into the games App Ticker in August. The activity update (like the addition of Open Graph Likes to the Ticker), meanwhile, seems a bit surprising as users could already see the Likes and Comments on Stories in the News Feed and could view them on Ticker stories by mousing over the Story to generate a popover window (see screenshot below).
Both changes come as a boon to advertisers looking increase the story activity related to their brands. Sponsored Stories have already been working well for them, with a 46% higher click-through rate, according to one Facebook Ads API service provider. The Open Graph actions also make conversations around a brand appear more lively, if all a user can see in the Ticker is that their friend Liked a particular brand while another user commented on it. So, from an advertising perspective, these two additions to the Ticker improve existing strategies.
As far as Facebook users go, changes to the Ticker could be seen as a risky move if Sponsored Stories and excessive Likes clutter up the Ticker or News Feed.