One of the advantages of Facebook advertising is that it can subdivide the audience and display the ads to the relevant users. The ads seen by 25 year old women may be quite different from those seen by 50 year old men, but Facebook announced a new advertising policy in October. The rules on ad transparency have changed dramatically, and the situation will change.
What's the change?
Facebook began testing its latest ad transparency function in Canada since November. When the users visit a merchant page, they can click on "View Ads" page to see all the running ads. Advertisers must be associated with this page when buying advertisements. The other two platforms, Messenger and Instagram, are also involved in the test.
For most pages, users cannot see detailed information about the number of advertisements, clicks, or target audiences, but they will probably know all the advertising contents of the entire page.
Why has such a big change taken place?
Facebook increases the ad transparency because it is constantly under pressure from Congress and the public. During the 2016 election in the United States, Facebook was used by some false accounts "likely to be manipulated by Russia". These accounts have bought thousands of ads during the U.S. election, releasing information that interferes with the election.
At first, Facebook denied that such events could not happen, but eventually admitted to being used. Although these posts are only a small part of the overall content of Facebook, they should not appear. It is very disturbing that one country can use the platform to influence the election results of another country. In order to soothe the government and the people, Facebook launched ad transparency function.
For advertisers, ad transparency function makes them uneasy. After all, if you spend time and money creating a highly creative and highly relevant advertisement and putting it into many personal groups, and competitors only need to visit your page can steal all your creativity. Will you feel at ease?
In addition, people are also concerned about the problem of advertising display in more stringent industries, such as finance. People are worried that such advertisements will be suspended because they are misleading. Will it be displayed on the page?
Facebook indicates that only active ads in the page can be viewed by the user. Exceptions to political related pages, ad transparency function is mainly to solve political problems. Facebook requires relevant political advertisers to improve the ad transparency.
During the US federal election in 2018, users will be able to see the goals, expenditures and display times of political advertisements, as well as historical advertisements, not just active advertisements.
As the tests were carried out in Canada, people wanted Facebook to make the rules transparent. It remains to be seen whether this change in Facebook will cause advertisers to be infringed (such as creative theft, etc.). The new ad transparency policy will be launched worldwide in 2018.