What is a Facebook Sponsored Story?
A Facebook Sponsored Story is a story that is eligible to appear in your news feed. It will show up in the right-hand column of your profile or news feed. The types of stories that can surface include: fan page likes, fan page posts, fan page post likes, check-ins, app shares, apps used and games played, and domain stories.
If you are seeing a Facebook Sponsored Story in the right hand column on Facebook it’s because your friends have interacted with a fan page ( business or organization page) on Facebook. When your friends interact with a Facebook fan page, a story/post about their activity is generated into your news feed.
Only your friends who see your regular news feed posts, status updates etc, are able to see it as a Sponsored Story.
Here’s an Example:
1. Harry’s privacy settings allow his friends to see news feed posts/stories about fan pages he likes.
2. Harry ‘likes’ the Susan Jane fan page.
3. Harry’s friend John can now see a post/story about Harry liking the Susan Jane fan page in his news feed.
4. Because of this, John may see the same story as a Sponsored Story on the right hand side when he’s viewing his profile or news feed.
BUT, in order for any Sponsored Story to show on the right hand side, the owner of the fan page has to choose to promote it. So if Harry ‘likes’ the Susan Jane fan page and it is published in John’s news feed and then Susan Jane decides she wants to promote her fan page with Facebook ads, John is likely to see the Sponsored Story in the right hand column.
The types of stories that can surface include: fan page likes, fan page posts, fan page post likes, check ins, app shares, apps used and games played and domain stories.
Once you have ‘liked’ a page or page post etc, you cannot opt out from seeing or being featured in the Sponsored Story news feed. You can of course unlike any like at any time.
Although you cannot opt out of seeing or being featured in a Sponsored Story, you can remove specific stories from being displayed in your right hand column by clicking the “X” displayed in the upper right hand corner of a story and choosing the appropriate option from the drop down menu. For sponsored stories about games played or apps used, simply uninstall the game or app.
A Sponsored Story is different from Facebook ads because Facebook ads contain a custom message from the fan page owner or advertiser and when clicked on will forward the person clicking it to a landing page or external link.
If you are considering promoting a Facebook Sponsored Story watch this Facebook video: Introducing Sponsored Stories