The controversial advertising tool will be removed on April 9th, 2014 according to a recently published Platform Roadmap.
A sponsored story allows advertisers to display users’ Likes into product endorsements. It’s an advertisement that appears on a member’s timeline or sidebar and may include a friend’s name, profile picture and an assertion that the person “likes” the product or page.
Plans to sunset the creation of sponsored stories began last August when Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) finalized a class-action lawsuit and agreed to a $20 million settlement. Not a bad deal, considering Facebook charged advertisers nearly $234 million between January 2011 and August 2012 alone.
Granted, a small price to pay for the publicly traded company; much of the damage came as users voiced concerns over privacy policies and the use of data seemingly collected at every corner of the social network. This hasn’t stopped markets, big and small, from utilizing Facebook’s powerful Ad tools.
Although users will no longer see sponsored stories when logging in, Facebook continues to move forward with aggressive advertising methods for marketers. In fact, Wall Street expects Facebook’s Q4 revenue to come in at $2.1 billion when the company reports its fourth quarter results on January 29.