In January, Facebook began rolling out their Sponsored Stories initiative, where advertisers can promote your friends’ activity after the fact. For instance, if John Jones liked Ben & Jerry’s or mentioned them in a status earlier in the day, the story could be promoted to the top of your news feed later in the day. Facebook explained that the Sponsored Stories should help you “learn about places to go, apps to use, games to play” and more.
Now, Facebook has made a slight change to their policy concerning Sponsored Stories in one of those categories – apps.
Inside Facebook spotted the quiet change, which occurred as a note in Facebook’s ads API information. The change does two things: First, it allows the app activity to become a Sponsored Story if the user interacts with it for a shorter period of time. Second, it shortens the window for which app activity can be turned into a Sponsored Story.
Before, app activity could become a Sponsored Story if someone used the app for more than 10 minutes in the last 28 days, or if they used the app twice (for any duration) in the last 28 days.
Now, app activity can become a Sponsored Story if a person uses the app for only 4 minutes, but it much occur in a 14 day window. Also, if they use the app twice (for any duration) in that 14 day window, it meets the threshold.
Shortening the window to 14 days will probably result in more relevant Sponsored Stories, but allowing the Stories when a user simply plays twice (for any duration) in two weeks means that the stories might not be incredibly accurate as to real-life app usage.
Facebook is currently in the process of testing Sponsored Action Stories, which means that you could start seeing promoted “read,” “listened to,” and “watched” stories in the near future.