Facebook Sponsored Stories Ad Program to Expire Soon - How will this Impact Advertisers on Facebook?
Stories Ad Program
- How will this Impact Advertisers on Facebook?
Facebook finally announced the sunset of sponsored stories, its controversial ad
feature, after running into a prolonged legal battle over privacy allegations. The
company has posted a message on Facebook forum for developers regarding this,
which said the users will no longer be allowed to create the domain and open
graph sponsored stories, while existing domain and open graph sponsored stories
will cease to have delivery after April 9th
, 2014. Sponsored stories ads do provide
advertisers a great opportunity to add social context to every ad and improve
their social media outreach. Hence, this update will surely have an impact on the
Facebook marketing efforts of businesses.
Sponsored Stories Ad Program
– An Overview
Sponsored stories are the messages coming from your
friends about their interactions (likes, comments and
check-ins) with a page, app or event that a business,
organization or individual has paid to highlight for
improving the online visibility. Such messages would
appear either in your News Feed or on the right side of
your home page under the name “Sponsored” and
create social endorsement for ads. To be more specific,
if a Facebook user liked your company‟s product, that
action and the user‟s profile picture would show up as an
advertisement in their friends‟ newsfeeds or home page.
Source: Screenshot taken from Facebook help page (Official)
This paid ad offering by Facebook thus announces who has clicked
support for various company accounts and helps companies to drive
fan growth and attract new social followers. Small businesses
benefited the most as they could use this kind of ad to reach their
target audiences easily. On the whole, it was a powerful social
media marketing tool for Facebook advertisers.
Though sponsored stories did contribute to online
advertising, it challenged the privacy rights of
Facebook users who do not want their personal
details (including pictures) used in ads without their
permission. Rankled privacy advocates filed a class-
action lawsuit against Facebook alleging that the
tech giant violated the privacy rights of minor by
publishing their social interactions („likes‟) and
profile pictures in advertisements without their
consent. The protracted legal battle ended in
August, 2013 when a U.S. district judge approved
Facebook‟s $20 million settlement.
Following this, Facebook decided to expel the sponsored stories ad program. It had
context (likes, comments, and check-ins) and profile pictures by specifying
(social_prefs= ['allow_shares']) on the adgroup. The company reiterated on its blog
post that it would not cut back social component in its ads even though the
sponsored stories would be expired. The social context would appear next to all ads
shown to Facebook friends if eligible.
Facebook provided around 10 types of sponsored
stories for advertisers. So Facebook advertisers will
have fewer options when it comes to ad types after
April. Most importantly, users will decide whether they
want their interactions with brands to be shared with
their friends. Advertisers need focus on the following to
achieve their Facebook marketing goals:
Focus on Social Context
It is very important for advertisers to create
assets that have a strong call-to-action for users
to interact with the brand and content while
running a fan acquisition campaigns. They should
find potential ways to target friends of fans in the
hopes of improving the chance of social context
appearing along with the ads. They would need
to develop shareable content with comprehensive
and up-to-date information for that.
Try Out Other Facebook
There are number of advertisement options with
Facebook including Mobile app Ads, Offers,
Custom Audiences, Facebook Exchange and so
on. You can plan an approach that suits your
business and try these out based on your plan.
Facebook success stories include the three-tiered
approach of leading global hospitality company
MGM Resorts International. The brand first
acquired highly qualified fans into its databases
and then provided Facebook offers to them.
Enhance Social Engagement
In addition to developing great content,
marketers would need to focus on increasing
overall engagement with their pages so as to
increase the number of likes and expand
outreach. Liking, commenting and checking in
are needed for Facebook to provide social context
around a marketer‟s ads. You should actively
participate in social activities and make constant
updates. Make sure that you are using all options
to promote your content.
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