API (Ads-Application Program Interface) is the latest enhancement from Facebook’s new ad targeting. Sponsored Stories will be laid to rest April 9th of this year. For those who don’t know, Sponsored Stories show when a user's Facebook friend interacts with a Sponsored Page, app or event. For example, if one of your Facebook friends Liked GetMeFriend’s Brand Page, and GetMeFriends chose to promote that interaction, you would see it as a Sponsored Story within your News Feed.
Prior to API, to get the best social context (likes and comments) available, brands had to purchase sponsored stories in addition to ads. “In the future, for example, when you create a page post photo ad, Facebook will automatically add social context to boost performance and eliminate the extra step of creating sponsored stories,” according to Fidji Simo of Facebook. “Social enhances ad resonance. People are very engaged by this type of word-of-mouth marketing. Research from Nielsen, comScore, and Datalogix shows that social context can drive awareness and return on ad spend, so we want to make it easier to add it to our ads. These changes will happen in the fall.”
When API rolls out in April, "social context" elements of Sponsored Story ads — where one or more of your friends are featured in the ad — will become the norm in all Facebook's advertisements. If a user comes across a marketer's ad and has friends who have Liked that marketer's Brand Page, that information will be included.
Facebook also described several refinements to ad targeting, changes to the way images in ads are cropped, and a host of other technical changes for marketers. These enhancements to ad targeting make things easier on marketers. With the new geo-targeting API, the user can add targeting flexibility and can incorporate inclusion / exclusion logic such as being able to select any combination of country, region, city, or ZIP code, without restrictions. All previous capabilities, such as radius targeting on cities, will continue to exist.
Facebook also announced a new targeting method. This new method is specific to a user’s particular actions or past purchase behavior or purchase propensity. This category is made up of some targeting segments previously categorized as Interests.