Discount ticket seller Goldstar in Pasadena recently unveiled its first “social ticketing” venture, following the lead of Hollywood’s Ticketmaster to the new format of “event marketing.”

Goldstar, which offers deals on tickets to events that aren’t selling out, unveiled its Sit With Friends feature last month. The feature gives ticket purchasers a link that they can send to friends and announce they’re attending while inviting them to buy nearby seats at venues such as Staples Center and Dodger Stadium.

Goldstar Chief Executive Jim McCarthy said the Sit With Friends feature has been in the works for about a year, following customer feedback about negative experiences from buying blocks of tickets for friends and then trying to get them to pay for their seats. Sometimes people cancel; other times they’re reluctant to part with their cash.

“I don’t think anyone likes doing it that way,” McCarthy said. “It’s a very awkward, unpleasant and expensive process.”

Plus it’s good for the company: The first ticket buyer acts as a salesperson for Goldstar seats.

Industry leader Ticketmaster has seen friend-to-friend marketing work through its use of Facebook.

Jacqueline Peterson, Ticketmaster spokeswoman, said the company got an average of $5 in new ticket sales last year every time a Facebook user posted event information on the social networking site.

Last month, Ticketmaster announced it will allow customers to share ticket purchase information on the site by “tagging” their seats on a map on the event’s Facebook page.

Peterson said the new Facebook feature is the virtual version of lining up outside a record store.

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