Wait no more: Facebook has started notifying some users that they could get up to $10 from the company.
This isn't Facebook's way of saying "Thanks for all the vacation photos from Cancun," but rather a payout in a class action lawsuit concerning Facebook's "Sponsored Stories" ads that reached a preliminary settlement late last year.
The lawsuit alleges that the Facebook ads "used Facebook members’ names and likenesses to sell products without their consent." (Case in point: Facebook used one member's name and face, without his knowledge, to promote a 55-gallon tube of personal lubricant) Under the terms of the settlement, any current or former Facebook users who had their identities shown in a Sponsored Story ad -- name, nickname, profile picture, photo, etc. -- could be entitled to a check from Facebook.
The majority of Facebook's U.S. users could get paid: the social network estimated in August of last year that around 125 million users in the United States are eligible for a payout, or nearly three quarters of Facebook members in the U.S. (SocialBakers, a social media analytics company, estimates that Facebook now has over 168 million Facebook users in the U.S.).
Facebook has set aside $20 million that will be used in part to compensate users. If the number of claims exceeds $20 million, Facebook will donate all the money to a shortlist of nonprofit organizations, with no cash going to its users. The nonprofits will also receive any money that might remain in the fund after users are paid.