Marketing Tips Blog

Facebook Discontinues Sponsored Stories

Mark Anderson - Saturday, January 18, 2014

Were you one of those users who's "likes" and comments were being used in advertisements to coax others to "like" what you had? If you were, and you weren't too happy about it, you're part of the reason for Facebook's latest announcement. Users' interactions within Sponsored Stories created controversy and a lawsuit from Facebook users who felt that this violated their privacy. Facebook settled the suit, and has now adapted its privacy settings to give users more control over who can see the information they share on the social network in an announcement they made on their developers blog early this week.

With the change being implemented come April, users will then have the choice to "opt-out" of their interactions being shown within advertising. For marketing this poses a problem. Now they have to identify and strategize new methods to replace those top-performing ads.

A shift in ad formats is being made throughout Facebook that will now offer retailers and other advertisers more defined measures to gauge success, like being able to retarget consumers based on their off-Facebook activities. Advertisers will then be able to track the digital path a shopper takes after seeing the ad.

Overall, we will be seeing changes in the way advertisers are using and creating methods to target potential customers. 

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