Users reacted with surprise and relief to news that Facebook will remove Sponsored Stories from the site as of April. The social network has just announced that it will phase out the controversial ad units for better targeting, according to The Verge.
The company has talked about plans to dump Sponsored Stories since June, but has now confirmed the date. The ads repackage usersâ€™ actions (such as likes) and allow advertisers to push them on their friendsâ€™ timelines without asking for extra permissions. Until April, advertisers will still be allowed to create a sponsored story with Facebookâ€™s ad create tool.
â€œFacebook is likely happy to finally remove the stories from its site â€” a class-action lawsuit was filed in 2011, not long after Sponsored Stories launched,â€ The Verge said. â€œLast August, Facebook agreed to a $20 million settlement. That’s not a lot of money by Facebook’s standards, but the ads and resulting lawsuit no doubt damaged the company’s reputation in the public eye.â€
Users commented on The Verge web site and posted GIF images to show their reactions.
“As announced in June of last year, weâ€™re bringing the best of sponsored stories â€“ social context â€“ to all ads,â€ Facebook representatives told Mashable. â€œSince this update makes sponsored stories redundant, we will no longer offer them as a standalone ad unit for marketers. Social context will continue to appear with all ads where eligible. Our social advertising honors the audience that people choose, so nobody will see information in social context for an ad that they couldnâ€™t already see.â€
Sponsored stories can appear in usersâ€™ News Feed or on the right side of the homepage. Facebook will also apply changes to its campaign structure as of March 4.