Adios, Sponsored Stories: Facebook To Sunset The Problematic Ad Type In April

In an announcement to developers, Facebook said it will be sunsetting sponsored stories. Domain and open graph sponsored stories are no longer allowed and any existing ones will cease to be delivered after April 9th.

Facebook sunsets sponsored stories

Facebook wrote:

  • 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. You may choose to add share social context by specifying social_prefs=['allow_shares'] on the adgroup. Existing page post and page like sponsored stories will continue to deliver so you must support fetching them.
    • 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.

Facebook has come under scrutiny and faced legal action for Sponsored Stories ads, which include the identification of users’ friends who’ve liked or tagged the advertiser.

The company also announced several other updates on the developer roadmap post, including targeting options and several technical changes.

Targeting Changes

1. Also announced is a redefinition of targeting from an “or” segmentation to an inclusive “and” targeting method.

Facebook offers this example: historically, if you selected “Parents” “Photography” “Photo uploader” within interests, the audience constructed was People who are Parents OR interested in Photography OR people who upload [many] Photos. However, the intended audience was: “Parents, who are interested in photography and upload pictures.” Now, the specific audience will be targeted as intended.

2. Unified Interests has been redefined as well. Precise Interests such as keywords, #topics and Broad Categories have now been combined and now have only one targeting segment for each term. For example, there are no longer both “Baseball” and “#Baseball.” This means specifying keywords is out, replaced by interests.

3. There are a number of updates to Geographic targeting. Among them is that the targeting logic is now “or” instead of “and.” As an example, to target California, the previous logic would have required you to specify “US” as the country and “California” as the state. With the current logic, if you specify “US” as the country and “California” as the state, the targeting will result in the entire “US.” To target “California,” you now only need to specify “California.”

4. Facebook will begin alpha testing advanced demographic and some behavioral targets in the US in early February. Advanced demographic targeting options will provide better coverage of workplace, education and job title types. Relationship status types have also been expanded.  Behaviors is now its own targeting type. This is how advertisers can target users based on past purchasing activity or purchase propensity.

Note, if you’re using a PMD, you won’t see these changes until the PMD has altered their API to support the changes and confirmed this with Facebook.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook | Facebook: Advertising | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Marketing: Advertising | Top News


About The Author: writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting. Beyond Search Engine Land, Ginny provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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