Facebook to bring Sponsored Stories to users’ news feeds

Facebook is set to introduce Sponsored Story ads into users’ news feeds, a move that will give brands’ advertising more visibility on the social network.


The extension to the format, which integrates your friends’ names, images and activity – such as when they have “liked” a brand’s Facebook page – into ads is understood to start appearing in users’ news feeds early next year.

It aims to give brands more opportunities to be visible in the areas of the site that Facebook users visit most often, rather than just their official Pages, which only tend to be looked at regularly by the most dedicated of fans.

The change brings Facebook’s Sponsored Story ad format more in line with that of rival social network Twitter, which offers brands sponsored tweets and sponsored accounts that appear on users’ timelines.

Facebook first introduced the Sponsored Story ad format in January, which appeared as small images and text on the right-hand side of the page. It has since extended into the rolling ticker feed of activity that appears on the top right-hand side of the page.

The use of the format has come under criticism by some users who feel their activity on the social network should not be used by brands for their own commercial gain to imply those people are endorsing their products and services. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously said that endorsements from friends are “two to three times” more valuable than generic ads sold on Facebook.

One group of Facebook users in the US is even suing Facebook for its use of the format in a San Francisco court.

The case is the first of its kind and, if it succeeds, could have major implications on the way Facebook makes revenue from brand advertising.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here