Facebook has just announced that it’ll be phasing out its controversial Sponsored Stories ad units as of April. While the company did confirm it was planning to drop Sponsored Stories back in June, we now have a date for when the ads will actually disappear from the site. Sponsored Stories were one of Facebook’s more controversial ad units — essentially, they would repackage some of your actions on Facebook and let advertisers sell them to your friends without your permissions. (Imagine if you checked in at Starbucks on Facebook — the company could then sell that action back to Starbucks and let them insert it as an advertisement.)
Facebook is likely happy to finally remove the stories from its site — a class-action lawsuit was filed in 2011, not long after Sponsored Stories launched. Last August, Facebook agreed to a $20 million settlement. That’s not a lot of money by Facebook’s standards, but the ads and resulting lawsuit no doubt damaged the company’s reputation in the public eye.