By Kurt Wagner | Mashable.com
If you want to purchase a Sponsored Story on Facebook, you’d better do it fast.
The social network will retire Sponsored Story advertisements beginning April 9, according to a blog post.
Sponsored stories show when a user’s Facebook friend interacts with a sponsored Page, app or event. For example, if one of your Facebook friends Liked Nike’s Brand Page, and Nike chose to promote that interaction, you would see it as a Sponsored Story within your News Feed.
Advertisers will be able to buy Sponsored Stories up until April 9, at which point all existing Sponsored Stories will transition into other ad formats. For example, a Sponsored Story highlighting a page Like will simply turn into a Page Like ad.
Beginning in April, the “social context” element of Sponsored Story ads — where one or more of your friends are featured in the ad — will simply become commonplace in all Facebook’s advertisements. If a user comes across a marketer’s ad and has friends who have Liked that marketer’s Brand Page, that information will be included.
Facebook announced that social context would become a greater part of the company’s advertising strategy in June.
In a statement given to Mashable, a Facebook spokesperson explained why the addition of social context to all Facebook ads is leading to phasing out Sponsored Stories:
“As announced in June of last year, we’re bringing the best of sponsored stories – social context – to all ads. Since this update makes sponsored stories redundant, we will no longer offer them as a standalone ad unit for marketers. Social context will continue to appear with all ads where eligible. Our social advertising honors the audience that people choose, so nobody will see information in social context for an ad that they couldn’t already see.”
Image: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images