Sponsored stories appear when a user’s Facebook friend engages with a sponsored Page, app or event. For example, if one of your Facebook friends Liked a Brand Page, and that page has chosen to promote that engagement, a Sponsored Story would appear on your News Feed.
By April 9, Sponsored Stories will not be up for purchase for Advertisers and existing Sponsored Stories will turn into other format of ads. In example, a Sponsored Story highlighting a page Like will just turn into a Page Like ad and the “social context” component of Sponsored Story ads where a single or multiple friends of yours are featured in the ad, will simply become commonplace in all of Facebook’s advertisements. The social context will become a greater part of the Facebook’s advertising strategy in June.
A Facebook spokesperson explains:
“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.”