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Meta Brings Transparency To Electoral & Political Ads

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With the midterm elections upon us, consumers in the United States (and around the world) are calling upon social platforms for transparency.

Combating misinformation sharing is an uphill battle.

Meta (formerly Facebook) responded to consumer concerns with an announcement of updates to its ad transparency tools.

Jeff King, VP of Business Integrity at Meta, introduced new measures for better ad transparency to the following tools:

  • Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) tool
  • Facebook Ad Library

Specifically, the ad types that will be affected include:

  • Social issues
  • Electoral
  • Political

Updates to these tools will be available to all countries that currently have Meta’s ad authorization and disclaimer tools available.

While these updates are driven by consumer feedback, there will be an impact on advertisers. Let’s dive into the changes and how advertisers can prepare.

Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) Tool

The Facebook Open Research and Transparency (known as FORT moving forward) tool is not available to the public, but to vetted academic researchers.

First launched on January 11, 2022, the goal was to provide a tool for researchers to understand Meta’s impact on society.

The tool is a cloud-based research platform that is cost-efficient, flexible for researchers, and secure when it comes to storing data. 

Starting at the end of May, the FORT environment will include detailed ad targeting information (such as interest categories) for social issues, electoral, and political ads.

Detailed targeting information will be available at the ad level for affected ads.

Facebook Ad Library Changes

The Facebook Ad Library, in contrast, is available to the general public. 

Updates to the Ad Library will be available July 2022. If your ads fall into one of the three categories above, consumers will now be able to see the following:

  • Summary of targeting information for each affected ad
    • Location
    • Demographics
    • Interests
  • Total number of targeted ads in the three categories a Page has ran
  • Percentage of ad spend on social issue, political, or electoral ads
  • Whether a Page used Custom audiences
  • Whether a Page used Lookalike audiences

What This Means For Advertisers

It’s no secret that Meta is cracking down on detailed targeting.

While you still have the ability to target by demographics such as age, gender, and location, you may see a lot more ads disapproved depending on the ad content.

Even if your ads don’t directly fit into social issues, electoral, or political categories, you may still be affected moving forward.

If you feel like all hope is lost for Meta audience targeting, don’t fret! Below are a few tips and tools to try out.

#1: Start With Broader Targeting

Even if you know exactly who your target market is, you may not be able to use demographics in the same ways you used to.

A tip for wider reach and awareness is to create a large “interests” category that’s not separated out by demographics.

You may see an initial higher CPA while in the learning phase, but it often doesn’t take long for Meta’s algorithm to find your highest quality targets.

#2: Use Remarketing To Your Advantage

If you’re starting with broad targeting (above), keep track of folks who are engaging with your ads!

Quick video ads are a way to gain awareness, but did you know you can create remarketing lists from people who engage?

If you don’t have video content, try creating a remarketing list of people who have previously engaged with your page.

This takes the demographic targeting out of your ads, and into a more qualified audience who is more likely to purchase from you.

#3: Use Custom Audiences

While users will now be able to see whether you’ve used Custom or Lookalike Audiences, this is less likely to phase them if they are a past customer, for example.

As long as you’re populating these lists from first-party data, you shouldn’t have an issue with getting ads approved.


Source: Meta

Featured Image: Tada Images/Shutterstock



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