Facebook announced that the controversial ad product “sponsored stories” appear in users’ feeds whenever a friend “like” or “check-in” to a sponsored page or location will no longer be available for purchase separately as of April 9.
The practice has stirred up some controversy for Facebook over privacy concerns, particularly with minors, saying that using users’ profile photos and information to create ads without permission violates privacy rights.
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In 2011, a group of Facebook users had an issue seeing their names and profile photos unwittingly appearing in ads. Therefore, Facebook settled a class-action lawsuit for $20 million.
However, the company still needs to cancel the concept of ads based on friendship networks. Though “sponsored stories” will no longer be available for purchase, we think they will be enhanced and included in other kinds of ads for sale on Facebook.
“Marketers will no longer be able to purchase sponsored stories separately,” the company explained in a statement. “Instead, social context — stories about social actions your friends have taken, such as liking a Page or checking in to a restaurant/shop — is now eligible to appear next to all ads shown to friends on Facebook.”
Tell us what you think, and is it a good step from Facebook?