Last month Facebook tested a new type of advert called featured stories, which allowed companies to publish your likes in the form of ads on your news feed. Now TechCrunch reports that Facebook is running a pilot program to bring the same idea to users that have performed certain actions inside Facebook apps. "Open Graph" actions, as Facebook calls them, are an extension of the site's "like" paradigm, and can be any verb, such as "listen," "watch," or "read." Companies can now take a group of friends that say, listened to an album from a particular artist through a Facebook app, and target ads at that group based on the artist, record label, or music service.
Facebook's developer site mentions this action targeting specifically in certain advertising APIs, so although this is a limited trial, it seems likely that they're preparing to push these services, or a variant of them, to the masses at some point soon. This latest progression of Facebook's push for social marketing further blurs the lines between ads and social sharing. In other words, for marketers, it's probably a dream come true.