A Better Way to Learn About Ads on Facebook

By Satwik Shukla, Product Manager

We’re working hard to make advertising more transparent and to give people more information about the ads they see. Today, we’re rolling out an improved Ad Library that brings together all ads on our platforms. We’re also making transparency information more visible on Pages, expanding access to our API to help more people analyze political or issue ads, and exempting news publishers from labeling their ads as related to politics or issues in the US.

Introducing a New Ad Library and Report

We launched the Ad Library — previously called the Ad Archive in the US — to help people learn more about ads related to politics or issues that have run on Facebook or Instagram. The Ad Library offers information about who saw the ad, as well as its spend and impressions, and houses ads for seven years. Today, we’re updating the Ad Library to make it easier to learn about all ads and the Pages that run them. This includes:

  • Bringing in all active ads any Page is running — not just ads related to politics or issues — creating one place to see ads on Facebook. This was previously only visible on a Page in the Info and Ads section.
  • Adding more information about Pages in the Ad Library, including:
    • Page creation date, previous Page merges, and name changes.
    • Primary country location of people who manage a Page, provided it has a large audience, or runs ads related to politics or issues in select countries.
    • Advertiser spend information for ads related to politics or issues where the Ad Library Report is currently available. This includes all-time spend and spend over the last week, which was previously only available in the Ad Library Report.
  • Improved search in the Ad Library. Past user searches will be saved for people logged in to Facebook, and people can now search by Page, not just keywords.
  • The ability to report ads from within the Ad Library.

We’re also making improvements to the Ad Library Report. Starting in mid-May, we’ll update the Ad Library Report for ads related to politics or issues daily, rather than weekly. We’ll also offer weekly, monthly and quarterly reports that are downloadable for anyone.


More Ways to Find Page Information

Beyond the Ad Library, we’re making it easier to find helpful information within Pages too. Now the “Home” tab of every Page will include a “Page Transparency” section with the same Page information we’ve added to the Ad Library: the date the Page was created, previous Page merges, name changes, and primary country location for certain Pages. People previously had to click “Info and Ads” to find this information.

Expanding API Access

We know we can’t protect elections alone. That’s why we’re expanding access to our Ad Library API for others to analyze ads related to politics or issues. To gain access: Go through the Facebook Identity Confirmation process, create a Facebook Developer account, and agree to our platform terms of service. Our identity confirmation process helps us make sure people are who they say they are, and can take up to a few weeks.

Exemptions for News Publishers in the Ad Library in the US

As we announced in November, we will no longer require qualifying news publishers targeting people in the US to go through the ad authorization process or label their ads as related to politics or issues. All active ads for all Pages will be visible in the Ad Library, but ads from news publishers will no longer be labeled as related to politics or issues — and the news filter will no longer be included in the Ad Library. We will use membership lists from third party industry organizations, as well as the news Page index and additional criteria to identify news publishers for exemption.

Protecting 2019 Elections Through Greater Ads Transparency

Over the past two years, we’ve made real strides when it comes to finding and addressing threats to election integrity, including: expanding our teams focused on safety and security to more than 30,000 people globally, on-boarding new fact-checking partners, and standing up elections operations centers in Dublin and Singapore. We’ve also launched ads transparency tools in the US, the UK, Brazil and India, as well as Ukraine and Israel leading up to key elections.

Now, ahead of the European Parliamentary election, we’re introducing ads transparency tools in the EU. EU advertisers will need to be authorized in their country to run ads related to the European Parliamentary election or issues of importance within the EU, as well as provide a “Paid for by” disclaimer clearly communicating who is responsible for the ad. These ads will also be archived in the new Ad Library for seven years.

Looking Ahead

We’re committed to creating a new standard of transparency and authenticity for advertising. By the end of June, we’ll roll out transparency tools for political or issue ads around the world. Shining a brighter light on advertising and Pages on Facebook holds us and advertisers more accountable, which is good for people and businesses.

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