Facebook could generate a major increase in clickthrough rates for ads displayed on its site with a new test feature that incorporates friends’ reviews into marketing messages.

This is according to Dennis Yu, who wrote on the unofficial All Facebook blog that pay per click marketing on social networking could be significantly boosted by the move.

He said users testing the feature see a linked version of their online friend’s name alongside their review and a star rating out of five.

Mr Yu predicted that ads getting four stars or above will enjoy a substantial rise in their clickthrough rate as visitors to the site are more likely to trust the feedback of people they know.

Facebook has previously added its Like button to ads to enable users to quickly recommend promotional messages that appear on their profile to members of their network.

Mr Yu said this has greatly increased the potential reach of marketing via the site.

As the average Facebook user has 130 online friends, an ad attracting 2,060 “likes” opens up an ad to a potential audience of 304,800 people, he noted.

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