NEW YORK — Facebook Social Advertising Event, Nov. 6, 2007 — Facebook today announced that 12 of the world’s largest brands and companies have immediately committed to using Facebook Ads, an ad system that enables people to provide trusted referrals to their friends and helps businesses to spread information through the social graph and communicate with their customers in completely new ways.

With Facebook Ads, users can learn about brands and businesses through trusted referrals from their friends on Facebook. Advertisers can connect with users by creating a presence on Facebook and targeting the exact people they want.

Facebook Ads includes three parts: a way for businesses to build pages on Facebook to connect with its audience; an ad system that facilitates the spread of brand messages virally through Facebook Social Ads™; and an interface to gather insights into people’s activity on Facebook that marketers care about. On other websites, Facebook Beacon provides a way for users to choose to share their activities with their friends on Facebook. Landmark partners are implementing the fullest set of offerings from Facebook Ads.

“We have consistently explored new ways to reach our target audience with a compelling brand experience,” said Carol Kruse, vice president, global interactive marketing, The Coca-Cola Company. “With Facebook Ads, our brands can become a part of the way users communicate and interact on Facebook.”

The Coca-Cola Company will feature its Sprite brand on a new Facebook Page and will invite users to add an application to their account called “Sprite Sips.” People will be able to create, configure and interact with an animated Sprite Sips character. For consumers in the United States, the experience can be enhanced by entering a PIN code found under the cap of every 20 oz. bottle of Sprite to unlock special features and accessories. The Sprite Sips character provides a means for interacting with friends on Facebook. In addition, Sprite will create a new Facebook Page for Sprite Sips and will run a series of Social Ads that leverage Facebook’s natural viral communications to spread the application across its user base.

As part of a wide-ranging effort to engage Facebook users in a community-driven movie-focused movie experience, Blockbuster has implemented Facebook Beacon on blockbuster.com that allows Facebook users to share the titles of the movies they add to their queue on Blockbuster’s website back to their friends on the Facebook website.

Blockbuster has also built a Facebook application – Movie Clique – that, once installed, enables Facebook users to search thousands of movie titles, create lists of movies they want to see and share movie ratings and reviews while staying updated on new movie releases and promotions. Facebook users who are subscribers to Blockbuster’s online rental service get the added benefit of using Movie Clique to rent movies directly from Blockbuster within the Facebook website. Additionally, through Social Ads, Blockbuster will be able to further promote relevant actions from both its application and Beacon to users’ friends.

“We view this as an innovative way to cultivate relationships with millions of Facebook users by enabling them to interact with Blockbuster in convenient, relevant and entertaining ways,” said Jim Keyes, Blockbuster chairman and CEO. “This is beyond creating advertising impressions. This is about Blockbuster participating in the community of the consumer so that, in return, consumers feel motivated to share the benefits of our brand with their friends.”

For Verizon, Facebook Ads has provided a way to not only enhance its presence on the website with a Facebook Page, but also as a way to create fun and useful applications featuring ringtones and text messaging. A ringtone application allows users to match ringtones with the personalities of their friends, while Verizon Text A Friend enables users to send text messages, to those that accept them, from Facebook to friends’ mobile devices. Both applications, built on Facebook’s Platform, are available on the Verizon Page and can be added by users to their Facebook accounts.

“We’re always looking for new ideas and fresh ways to engage with our customers, and Facebook is providing tremendous thought leadership on this front,” said John Harrobin, senior vice president, marketing and digital media, Verizon.

Partners joining the stage at a launch event in New York for Facebook Ads included senior executives from Blockbuster, CBS, Chase, The Coca-Cola Company, Sony Pictures and Verizon. Other brands and companies launching with Facebook Ads include CondéNet (Epicurious.com and flip.com), Crest Whitestrips, Dove Cream Oils®, Herbal Essences, The New York Times Co., and Saturn.