Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:10 PM ET
Ever see a post on Facebook that looks suspiciously like an ad, with a friend's name attached? Those misleading "sponsored stories" are finally getting the boot on April 9, according to a document detailing changes to Facebook's advertising policies.
The ads, introduced in early 2011, work like this: Jack "likes" a Starbucks post or page. Later, Jack's friend Jane sees a post from Starbucks on their own wall, accompanied by a message saying "Jack likes Starbucks" — implying that Jack had recommended that particular post.
This rather sneaky way of attaching users to ads and posts they perhaps had never seen was never popular, and in 2013 it was announced that sponsored stories would be going away — but no one knew when. A new "Platform Roadmap" has the answer: Advertisers can no longer create new sponsored stories, and existing ones will no longer appear after April 9.
No one (except advertisers) will miss them, but with the addition of auto-playing videos and other social ads to the stream, your Facebook wall is still going be a source of annoyance in 2014.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.