Facebook launched a tool designed to aid marketers in creating sponsored stories, allowing them to preview their work, as well as to better target audiences and select open graph action verbs.

The social network said its action spec preview tool will allow marketers to preview exactly how their sponsored stories will appear from their pages or applications, and a post on its developer blog detailed two ways this can be done:

  • Using the drop-down menu: Use the drop-down menu to preview recent stories from your news feed or page(s) you manage or like. The preview tool will display how sponsored stories will be seen by users in the news feed and right-hand side of any page on Facebook. For open graph actions, the tool will also display the various selectors (action type and properties of the object) associated with the action spec to enable you to experiment with different combinations and specify the exact action spec you are interested in using.
  • Using the action spec: A more powerful method is to enter a specific action spec for any story on the graph that you would like to preview. In addition to displaying how sponsored stories will be presented and the various selectors associated with the action spec, the tool will also provide the approximate number of actions, actors, and actor’s friends within the last week that match the spec.

The action spec preview tool also displays action type and properties of the object associated with the action spec, which allows marketers to experiment with different types of sponsored stories. The blog post concluded:

In summary, the action spec preview tool helps you discover and visualize stories to sponsor, size the opportunity for a story, and discover alternate action specs, all within a simple, visual interface. This visual work flow should help any developer or advertiser understand how to take advantage of available sponsored stories inventory. To start creating your own sponsored stories, go to: https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/adscreator/. Or if you are a API developer, go to: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/ads-api/creative-specs/#action_specs_Sponsored_stories.