In the light of recent scandals, Facebook has had to take a long, hard look at the way they operate. Team this with the ‘fake news’ phenomenon, and it’s no surprise the social media platform has taken a shift to focus on transparency. Introducing, the Facebook ad revolution.
“I don’t think any other company has come close to the transparency we’ve put out,” declares Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer. A bold statement. So, let’s investigate.
Facebook has recently introduced a number of new features to tackle transparency in such a news-centric world where anyone can seemingly create a story that may go viral. The announcement came just days after Twitter released details of their own Ad Transparency Centre.
The first element of Facebook’s ad revolution brings the introduction of a new section within pages, View Ads. The new segment will allow users to view all of the page’s active ads purchased on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and their partners – it has us intrigued, but what separates this from Twitter’s recent update?
Now, it’s no secret that Facebook has reported that their ads go through extensive review processes by both humans and AI, but now they’re allowing the general user to flag an ad for violating their policies, with a more substantial process.
“It will give people the ability to find things that maybe shouldn’t be up or find things that might be misleading so we can take action,” continued the COO.
But, let’s get down to what really matters – the fake news epidemic. Facebook has released a statement exploring how their political ads are also going through more rigorous and extensive review processes, ultimately causing delays to these ads showing on the site – seems like a bug they need to address, and quickly.
Facebook has also launched a feature that allows users to see extensive information on every single ‘political’ ad bought on their platform(s). This is a huge leap forward for social media transparency, and it seems the company have thought of everything – this feature also shows ads on topics that may be considered political, i.e. immigration. Advertisers and now also required to verify aspects before they can purchase a political ad, this includes their identity and location – a particular feature already launched in the US and soon to launch in Brazil.
This new element to Facebook ads will give users access to previously private information such as the cost of running the ad, who created it and it’s targeted demographics – meaning general users can now pinpoint why they’re being targeted.
However, the good news comes to advertisers – Sandberg has stated that there is not expected to be any additional costs in advertising on Facebook. But be cautious, competition is now much more easily accessible. Want to see a rival company’s current and past ads? Just head over to their page, simple.
It seems that Facebook is revolutionising the transparency aspect of their advertising, but we believe it is an aspect that must continue to grow and develop to tackle the seemingly never-ending fake news, scandals and political interference. We’re excited to see these updates rolled out globally and what will come next.