10 important ad platform updates which Facebook made before and during the scandal

Testimonials in Congress look like the script for the next movie and surprised a lot of people, both advertisers and users. However, those who are working in data industry were not shocked so much by the uprising conflict between Facebook and authorities. 2 days in a Congress is not an unpleasant surprise for the biggest social network in the world. It is just public consequences of an ongoing conflict.

Government has been forcing Facebook to limit usage of customers data for a year extremely active. Such conclusion can be done from the amount of steps taken by Facebook in 2017 – early 2018. They made and announced a lot of important updates that limit ways how advertisers can use customers’ data.

We’ve collected all updates and explained what they changed in Facebook’s advertising ecosystem.

Check this article to be aware of new advertising limitations you have and share it with your colleagues.

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    1. Facebook refused using third-party data for targeting.



      Back to 2013, Facebook started using data from huge data brokers, such as Experian and Acxiom and launched a new feature for targeting called Partner Categories.

      Here is an example of Partner Category. They were displayed as any other targeting options so you may be surprised why some of your favorite targetings are gone.


      In 2018 partner categories are gone. So advertisers now have less advanced options for targeting.

      Facebook stated that the company won’t use any third-party data anymore and will rely only on its own resources in order to be sure that all data used for targeting was attained rightfully.


    1. Facebook stopped showing reach estimate for custom audiences based on e-mail or phone lists.



      Ooops… From now it’s much harder to define how many people has Facebook matched from your e-mail / phone list. Now you have no idea of what’s your audience size. Thus it’s more difficult to predict how many people can be reached within a particular audience.


    1. Facebook stated it will require a proof that advertiser has collected e-mail or phone list for a custom audience legally.



      If you can’t show an evidence that the list is rightfully attained, your ads will be banned. So, buying even high quality lists won’t make sense quite soon. And you have to double check your opt-ins, if you haven’t done it yet.


    1. Advertisers are prohibited to share custom audiences with other business accounts.



      Right now it is not clear enough how this prohibition will work, so we’ll see it soon. However, it looks like we won’t have an option to share pixels within different ad accounts. We’re still not sure, if it would be ok to use one pixel on different websites then.


    1. Apps that were not used for 3 month by a particular customer lose the access to his data.



      This update affects not only suspicious apps which are manipulating access they have to retrieve as much data as they can, but also transparent products and applications, including ads management tools. It is time for apps to pay more attention to retention strategy. As a customer, you need take some actions time after time in apps you’d like to remain active.


    1. Facebook reduced the data which consumers can give to apps during sign in. Now it is name, profile photo and e-mail only.



      Want more data? Make customers believe that your app is worth it. Some of the fields, which are now not accessible:

      • Page likes
      • List of friends
      • Localisation
    2. Facebook will verify advertisers who are running any political and issue ads. Advertisers now have to confirm their identity and location. Organizations or persons who are not able to prove their identity will be banned.



      If you work for political organizations or even in non-government sector, tough times are coming to you. It is likely to take more time now to start a new campaign or a new ad account in Facebook business manager even if you are a real person from a transparent organisation.

      Facebook even decided to send a physical postcard with a verification code to advertisers who want to promote politicians during elections.


    1. All political or issue ads will be labeled to show customers who exactly pays for that promotion.



      Anonymity for advertisers is gone. Transparency is an absolutely right step, but it may hurt opposition in states with dictatorship regimes which want to boost their posts, but need to stay nameless.


    1. All users who manage big pages will be verified. They have to prove their identity.



      It seems that this update will impact not only political pages, but other fields as well. So if you are a huge publisher or a brand with big audience, get prepared for an active dialogue with facebook’s admins.
      Facebook even acquired a startup called confirm.io that is focused on a documents verification. It might help FB to deal with this issue.


  1. Facebook hires more than 20 000 people for manual content review.



    Ad reviews will become more detailed and strict. According to efforts we see from Facebook, it is going to be much hard to overplay Facebook and promote prohibited topics, for example, ICO or cryptocurrencies.

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