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January 10, 2014

Facebook to Pull Plug on Sponsored Story Ads

Facebook’s Sponsored Stories days are numbered.

The social network is set to retire the controversial platform that appeared on users’ news feeds indicating which products have been endorsed by friends through the site’s ‘like’ feature.

The ads, which saw Facebook hit with a class action lawsuit in 2011, will be phased out as of April 9, reads a post on the developers forum. As of that date, advertisers will no longer have the option of creating that type of ad.

Facebook informed its advertisers of the coming change earlier this week to give them time to adjust their ad campaigns to accommodate the upcoming alteration.

Sponsored stories have been nothing but trouble for Facebook.

The social network had to fork over $20 million to settle the lawsuit filed against it in 2011 by five Facebook members.

Those making the complaint alleged Sponsored Stories broke California law by exposing users’ ‘likes’ of brands without any compensation or way to opt-out.

Facebook paid $9.21 million out of the $20 million to compensate class members — that’s $15 for each of the roughly 614,000 Facebook users whose personal details appeared in ads on the site without their permission. The remainder of the $20 million paid for the complainants’ attorney fees and other expenses.