Facebook first announced the retiring of sponsored stories last June in an effort to streamline its ad products. Social context—which sponsored stories provided by highlighting friends' interactions with pages, apps, or events on users' news feeds—will automatically accompany all ads, removing an extra step on advertisers' part to create sponsored stories.
In a statement to AllFacebook, the company said:
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 stand-alone 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.