Facebook rolls out changes to Sponsored Stories ads

Facebook is rolling out changes to its Sponsored Stories ad formats, which it claims will provide advertisers with greater distribution among its 800 million users, as part of a major overhaul announced yesterday (23 September).

Facebook: making changes to its Sponsored Stories ad formats
Facebook: making changes to its Sponsored Stories ad formats

One of the changes announced by Facebook chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg at its annual f8 developer conference, was the latest version of its new "open graph", the system that  links Facebook users to items on the web outside of the social network via the "like" social plug-in.

Actions can now be customised to include any verb, such as ‘watch’, ‘listen’ and ‘read’ which Facebook claims will create "more authentic" ways for users to talk about a business and for brands to share it with their friends.

The changes will have an impact on Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ad format. Introduced at the start of this year, Sponsored Stories show a user’s interaction with a brand, such as Likes and check-ins, which are displayed on their friend’s profile in the form of a display ad.

Marketers can now target ads and Sponsored Stories to people based on the stories they have shared from apps.

For example, Sony pictures can reach users who have watched a specific trailer for a specific film with an ad on the day of the release.

Th service is currently in beta with no brands using it currently. It is only available through Facebook’s direct sales team, which it claims will ensure "proper controls".

Brands should also benefit from increased ‘stickiness’ on the social networking site. The new entertainment apps, along with the timeline, will mean that its 800 million users will be spending more time on the site and posting more information about their activities.