Facebook retires Sponsored Stories

In a Developer Roadmap release, Facebook announced that it would sunset Sponsored Stories from News Feed starting from April 9th, 2014. Digital Marketers are devastated by the news.

Facebook jargon gets thrown around so interchangeably that, to comprehend the full ramifications of the social media giant’s decision, it is important to differentiate between the ad products Facebook offers.

  • Sponsored Story – A message that comes from a friend about them, engaging with a page, app, or event that a business, organisation, or individual has paid to highlight.
  • Page Post Ad – An advert that can be shown to everyone on Facebook and gets additional paid distribution among fans.
  • Promoted Post or “Boost” – You can pay to boost a specific post so that it is shown to more friends or fans on a flat rate.

The Sponsored Story has been a vital arrow in the digital marketer’s quiver since early 2011. Essentially it allowed the brand to pay to have friends of Facebook users who interact with a brand see that activity. Marketers found it to be an effective way of generating new engagement, attracting new leads, and gaining likes.

Soon after the feature was launched in 2011, Facebook was met with a class action lawsuit which claimed that the company used users names and profile pictures without their permission. Facebook settled for a $20 million payment, which although, is not a lot in monetary measures for a company allegedly worth $100 billion USD, is a lot in terms of its public image.

Facebook had previously announced that Sponsored Stories were being retired in June of 2013.


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