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Facebook Drops Sponsored Stories

Facebook Drops Sponsored Stories
Eric Huebner

In an attempt to streamline the marketing process, Facebook will now be offering less than half of its previous 27 different advertising options.

Surprisingly, Facebook will be axing its main form of advertising, sponsored stories, in favor of an increasingly streamlined and continuous advertising process. Widespread consumer complaints have dogged this advertising feature for the entirety of its existence. Facebook users ultimately felt so slighted by the service, which used the identities of Facebook users to endorse products that they “liked,” that Facebook ultimately found itself settling a class action lawsuit that cost it roughly $100 million in squandered revenue, according to Reuters.

This decision will ideally allow Facebook to become a more effective advertising platform. With the recent rise of native advertising, many ad platforms have been forced to adapt in order to focus on a more consumer-oriented marketing approach. The removal of the universally derided sponsored stories feature may be an instance of Facebook attempting to placate users.

In addition to keeping users happy, this new ad format should be much more convenient for advertisers as well. Facebook’s traditional ad format was often cited as being far too complicated and counter-intuitive.

As Facebook reduces the number of advertising services offered, it will encourage advertisers to heavily emphasize key objectives such as store visits, online sales, app installations and targeted product promotion, as opposed to the previous general brand emphasis. This will allow brands to more accurately target consumers and direct traffic more efficiently.

Although this reformatting may come as a shock to some, it will theoretically benefit both Facebook users and Facebook advertisers. Not only will the derided sponsored stories disappear, but they will be replaced by a more streamlined and targeted format that will theoretically drive more traffic to advertisers. These changes will begin over the course of the next few weeks, but may take as long as six months to fully implement across the social network.

 

[Sources: Forbes, AdAge]

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