Facebook to Stop Sponsored Stories from April

Social Media Marketing - January 22nd, 2014

Social media giant Facebook has announced its plans to kill sponsored stories that appear on news feeds of users. The decision follows the protests, allegations and a lawsuit filed against Facebook. The announcement was made through an updated roadmap in the developer page of Facebook. According to this, the service will be no longer available after April 9th.


Announcing the decision, the company said certain updates are making sponsored stories annoying and hence they will no longer offer sponsored stories as a stand-alone ad unit for marketers. They added that existing ads will continue to display for some time after which it will also be removed.


The feature - sponsored stories - was introduced by Facebook as a mode of advertisement in 2011. This allowed businesses and brands to post their ads in the news feeds of Facebook users with friends who have liked or interacted with the page of a particular business or brand. Since the launch of this feature, there were allegations that sponsored stories were directly violating the privacy policy of Facebook.


From the beginning social media experts felt that sponsored stories would have a limited life expectancy. Some users even filed a class-action lawsuit against the social media giant that pointed out the fact that Facebook never obtained consent from users to use their personal data along with the sponsored stories. The lawsuit was later settled for an amount of $20 million. 


With Facebook winding up the sponsored stories, it would be hard for businesses and brands to reach their target audience in an effective manner. All we have to do is utilise the existing advertising services from Facebook and wait for yet another advertising feature.

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