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Facebook will Sunset Sponsored Ads in April



By Hailey L. Petway, Digital Advertising Analyst




Facebook stated in its platform roadmap for developers, it plans to end sponsored stories on April 9th. This comes after Facebook reached a $20 million settlement over violating user privacy with their ad practices concerning sponsored stories. But, Facebook's decision to sunset this type of ad doesn't mean that the social media giant is removing social context from the site's advertising. 


Sponsored stories in a news feed when a user’s friend interacts with a business who advertises on the social media site. So if a person likes a business’ page, a friend of that person might see an ad for that business in their newsfeed.


Facebook seems to be taking user privacy very seriously with this upcoming change. As a result of the 2011 class-action lawsuit, Facebook was already forced to add an opt-out feature for sponsored stories. This change doesn't mean that Facebook’s ads won’t continue to have a social context. “Page post and page like ads already automatically have the best social context (likes and comments) added,” stated Facebook in the platform roadmap. Meaning, now that all ads on the site can be commented on or liked, potential shoppers will still see friends’ endorsement of businesses. This maintains the social media giant’s ability to blend both social interaction and advertising.


Similarly, Google is also working to give their ads social context and will be starting to advertise in the same way. In October, Google+ announced that they were making changes to their terms of service regarding how a user’s name and profile picture appears in Google products like Display ads. These ads will use a user’s name, profile photo and endorsement in its display ads. As a result of these upcoming changes, online advertising is moving toward greater social context. Dealerships who advertise on Facebook should not see a change in how their market interacts with their Facebook ads because now all ads can be liked. Also dealerships will soon be able to have the same interaction with their Google display ads as well.


From Facebook’s Platform Roadmap:

  • Facebook will sunset the creation of sponsored stories
  • Page post and page like ads already automatically have the best social

    context (likes and comments) added..

  • Domain and open graph sponsored stories will no longer be allowed

    to be created. Existing domain and open graph sponsored stories will cease to have delivery after April 9th.


About the Author

Hailey L. Petway is a Digital Advertising Analyst at Cobalt. Her dream car is a Aston Martin DB Mark III but she’d settle for an Austin-Healey. Hailey and other Cobalt Digital Analysts optimize and customize SEM campaigns for their dealers. When she’s not working on automotive SEM campaigns, Hailey can be found working in her garden. She lives in Fremont, WA. Feel free to reach out to Hailey directly at

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Comment by Alexander Lau on March 6, 2014 at 8:00am

Plan on marketing at FB, you're going to have to spend  more and more MONEY, there will be ZERO organic reach within a year.

"Increasingly Facebook is saying that you should assume a day will come when the organic reach is zero," he said.

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 30, 2014 at 9:31am

*In a very facetious tone, "no kidding???" I called this long ago, it was a failure at start and a failure now. 

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