Facebook to Close the Book on Annoying Sponsored Stories Ad Campaign

In the coming months, you'll stop receiving ads in your feed based on what your family and friends are into. They're called Sponsored Stories and the way they work is by showing up sporadically on your news feed based on the activity of your Facebook friends. So, if your mom Liked a Sponsored sewing page, there's a good chance it will show up in your feed even though you couldn't care less about sewing.

Advertisers have until April 9 to purchase a Sponsored Story. After that date, Sponsored Stories will transition to other ad formats, such as a Page Like ad, and advertisers will no longer be able to purchase Sponsored Stories, Facebook announced on its developers page.

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Image Source: Flickr (SESConferenceSeries)

"So what does this mean for people on Facebook? As before, you are in control of who sees what you post on Facebook, whether it appears in News Feed, next to ads, or elsewhere on Facebook," the social newtworking site announced in a separate blog post. "You can visit your Activity Log to see who can see stories about your social actions and change the audience or unlike or delete the content at any time. In addition, you can visit your Ads and Friends setting to limit when stories about your social actions are paired with ads shown to friends."

Why the change? It could be that Facebook simply doesn't want to deal with the hassles associated with Sponsored Stories. Users have complained about their identities being used for advertising purposes, and in 2011, there was a class-action lawsuit filed against Facebook alleging that the site violated the privacy of minors by not asking permission to use their likenesses.

Officially, Facebook says Sponsored Stories have become "redundant" since it already plans to bring social context to all ads.