Facebook tightened the implementation of Special Ad Categories in housing, employment, or credit.

Facebook’s advertising policies have prohibited unlawful discrimination. To address this issue, Facebook released Special Ad Catagories set in place to fulfill its commitment to protecting users and advertisers from discrimination and to improve their ability to detect and deter potential abuse. 

The social network giant mandated that every user must indicate when their ads are promoting housing, employment or credit by selecting the special ad category in the Ads Manager. This is a must specifically for advertisers, developers, and other partners. Companies that fail to implement the special ad categories, starting this Wednesday, will be paused for non-compliance.

Ads about housing in the Ad Library

A new feature called the housing ad section will be incorporated in Facebook’s Ad Library starting Wednesday. It will provide details on all active housing opportunity ads targeted to U.S users. 

The housing information can be searched by page name, or the city or the state in which the ads are targeted. Facebook said that separate ads for employment or credit opportunities will be added to the Ad Library next year. The company is currently working with civil rights groups concerning the matter. 

Special Ad categories implemented on all Ad buying platforms

Facebook announced that advertisers must use new processes with restricted targeting options to buy ads that offer housing, employment, and credit. The enforcement is required for all the tools businesses use to buy ads including Ads Manager, Instagram Promote, the Marketing API (application-programing interface), and ads created from pages.

Facebook’s changes to its target policies

Facebook implemented several changes to its targeting policies for ads dealing with housing, employment, and credit. This is part of the company’s settlements of several class-action lawsuits and complaints in March. 

Facebook no longer allowed age, gender, and ZIP code as targeting policies. The interest segments for ads are down into a hundred from thousands due to the deletion of those targeting details. 

What does it mean for you? 

Advertisers and marketers need to comply with Facebook’s usage of special ad categories as it is essential in providing a safe and law-abiding promotion and advertisements. It’s required for marketers to submit to the social media giant’s new measures to continue using their ad services. 

The social media platform has made additions to its platform to protect brands

Facebook released the new brand safety tool in an interview in the 2019 Code Media conference in Los Angeles. The company has been facing an issue with its political ads policy. Facebook decided that the policy and the company have no plans to change it. The social media giant further added that it is the voters’ responsibility to decide whether to believe the message or not. 

Regardless of their defense, Facebook has been scrutinized and accused to be using the platform to spread disinformation, sabotage democracy, and influence politics. 

To segue the issues, Facebook launched a set of tools to bring transparency and brand safety to its users amidst allegations.

The new set of brand safety tools

The following are the tools Facebook have released: 

  • New brand safety partner Zefr is now Facebook’s brand safety partner. Its role is to create future brand safety control and tools.
  • Dynamic content sets –  Facebook uses whitelisting tools that allow brands to update and adjust videos available to advertisers. The company team up with Integral Ad Science, OpenSlate, Zefr to achieve this.
  • Account-level settings – sections such as Business Manager and Ads Manager can now create blocklists, obtain delivery reports, and set inventory filters at the account-level. This opposes in applying these settings one campaign at a time.
  • Publisher white lists – whitelist control for advertisers in Audience Network and in-stream ads. This allows advertisers to white-list certain publishers for ad placement.
  • Improved delivery reports – advertisers are now allowed to search by account ID or publisher without having to download it first. Content-level information will soon be added by Google for this report soon.

These new set of brand safety tools give advertisers controls to the placement and context in which their ads are delivered.  It could be in in-stream, Instant Articles, or via Audience network. These controls are the earlier brand safety initiatives Facebook has offered. 

What does this mean for you

This new set of tools is intended to give advertisers and marketers the edge to know over how, where, and in what publisher inventory their ads appear in. 

Facebook is making moves to keep its advertisers feeling safe despite the issues thrown at the social media company. Advertisers and brands are still keen on teaming up with Facebook as their advertising platform because the massive audience of almost 2.5 billion users can’t be dismissed.

The social media giant announced the news of limiting ads Pages that can run simultaneously, the more is said to impact a number of advertisers. 

Facebook will implement a limit on the number of ads that can run on each page at the same time. The changes will begin by mid-2020, giving advertisers the time to prepare. The company is also released a new Marketing API that will include an Ad Volume API so that advertisers will be able to see the volume of their ads running. 

The changes will benefit advertisers since high ad volume hinders ad performance. With an increasing number of ads running on a page simultaneously, an advertiser’s budget is spent before the system can optimize the ads’ performance. The Ad Volume API allows the advertisers to see and track their Page’s ad volume for an ad account. It will also allow them to see the number of ads permitted in each Page. 

Advertisers have ample time to test out the Graph API and Marketing API before the limitations will be implemented next year. 

Special Ad Category 

Facebook reminds businesses all over the U.S. or with the target audience living in the U.S. to edit their ad campaigns that offer employment, housing, and or credit opportunities on or before December 4, 2019. Ads that aren’t identified will not be allowed to run. 

Ads need to belong to a Special Ad Category, and the limited audience criteria for the special ad category campaign must also be used. For businesses using marketing API v5.0 and above, this category is required for all the ads regardless of what it offers.

Other changes to Marketing API

New features on the Marketing API included the recently reported new features of Messenger for business where brands have better chances of connecting multiple apps to their Messenger platform. Advertisers can also search from their Ads Library to look for active and inactive ads. There are more filters the can be used to efficiently find specific ad types. 

What does this mean for you?

“The ad limits will impact just a small percentage of advertisers,” posted Evan Klein in the company’s business page. As to how this change will impact small advertisers or whether you’ll be affected by it is something you’ll know until it takes effect. 

Facebook recently released new updates for the Messenger platform. 

Messenger’s update includes improvement to existing tools and new functionality. This update is part of Facebook’s Graph API v5.0. With the Messenger update, businesses are able to improve engagement with their customers by adding ice breakers (FAQs) to their profile. This will help start conversations among users. 

Brands can take advantage of the addition of the icer breakers in their business profiles, the updates to Click to Messenger ads, and more options when replying to customers’ messages on their business profiles. 

Select app for click in Messenger ad campaigns 

It is now efficient for brands to have multiple apps connected to their Messenger and select the app for their click to Messenger ads. Click to Messenger ads are ads that can be seen in both Facebook and Instagram feeds. When the users click on it, they’ll be directed to the Messenger to start a conversation with the business representatives. 

Organizations with multiple applications connected to their business Messenger. This option is now available for business profiles and more improvements will roll out in the coming weeks. 

Adding ice breaker in business profiles 

“Ice breakers help businesses reduce friction in starting a conversation by surfacing common questions of the topic of interest,” wrote Nitin Garg in the company’s developer blog

Brands can now put ice breakers in their Messenger profiles via API. These ice breakers are frequently asked questions that businesses often get such as the rate of their services, their availability, their location, and more. Customers will then receive automated responses. This update is efficient for both the customers and the businesses. Ice breakers encourage interaction between users and businesses. 

Additional reply options for the users

Users can now use reactions in their messenger replies when conversing with the business representatives. Emojis are now one of the many ways that people use to express themselves. Similar to the personal profiles and messages where a user can reply to a specific message in the chatbox, that same feature is now available for Messenger for business as well. Businesses can now see which of the thread the customer is replying to. 

[Tweet “Facebook says that this adds clarity to the conversations and help businesses respond to inquiries better.“]

What does this mean for you?

Consumers find it appealing for businesses to have messaging platforms and find it easier to talk with representatives via Messenger. These updates can bridge the gap between customers and brands as well as increase brand engagement. 

Facebook has released its News Tab and announced to pay publishers for their headlines. 

It has just recently been released that Facebook’s News section and the social platform’s app will show the headlines from online news including Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, NBC, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and others. 

Users who tap on the headlines will be directed to the publisher’s websites. If the user has already installed the publisher’s app, then the app will open automatically. The intention behind this effort is to address the spread of misinformation on the site. 

Zuckerberg urges other tech rivals to pay for news

Facebook’s founder has said that Facebook as a platform is responsible for helping support the news and with this innovation, he is hoping that other platforms will follow the model that they are helping to set-up. 

The News tab has been tested with 200,000 users since its launch and it is expected to expand to more countries early next year. Zuckerberg acknowledged that the new service will not solve the problems in the media industry but it will hopefully bear a positive impact on both big and small publishers. 

Google is already helping publishers by monetizing their content via the traffic that the search engine sends to their sites. The news companies also get revenue  from Google’s ad platforms. Google reported that it sends over 24 billion clicks to publishers’ websites and these clicks bring in revenue and publishers get 70% of the ad revenue. 

Facebook to pay the publishers 

Zuckerberg said that they are going to pay some of the publishers to encourage higher-quality content on the platform. Not all the publishers will be paid directly but Zuckerberg confirmed that it’s making a ‘multi-year financial commitments’ to a few of its partners. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that some deals may reach up to $3 million a year. The other details on how much other publishers are getting were not disclosed. There were two criteria presented that publishers need to meet to get paid directly: if the publisher has a paywall and if Facebook wants more of the site. Publishers have the freedom to choose to either run their own ads and get 100% of the revenue or use Facebook’s ad network and share the revenue with Facebook. 

What does it mean for you? 

The news section isn’t open to advertisers for now but many are hoping that ad placements will be open when the News tab generates more users and high engagement rates. If so, the decision won’t come as a surprise considering the new ads in search results and ads in Group tabs.

Facebook users have been reported to be banned from the network for reporting fake and spam accounts. 

Reporting scam users on Facebook 

There’s a surge of fake accounts on Facebook. It’s not common to see friends report other people who are taking their identity and posing as them. Facebook battles against this by having a block and report feature on its site. This feature allows users to report fake accounts on the platform. It’s also a way for Facebook to clean up fake accounts that sprout in the platform regularly. 

There have been a large number of users who reported to have been locked out of Facebook because of reporting fake accounts and spams. Because of this Twitter has been flooded lately, with threads from users detailing their experiences with being locked out from weeks or even months. 

Cory Comer, director of marketing at RateLinx was locked out of his Facebook account for one week. He asked for the platform’s assistance but wasn’t given any. It was bad news for him since it’s the same account used for the company’s Facebook page. Comer said that he reported a person who tried to extort money from him but was then locked out from his account. 

Facebook then asked for his identification for verification purposes which apparently doesn’t work. Comer was left without access to his own account and the company’s account. Software engineer Doug Killmer also had the same experience when he reported a fake profile. 

What does this mean for you? 

#FacebookLockout may impact the business and other pages that you manage. When you report a scammer or a fake account, your Facebook profile may be banned and you won’t be able to access your account. This would mean that you will also be unable to access your brand page, Facebook ads you use for advertising, your Facebook DEvelopers account, and the Facebook Business Manager. 

Brands and advertisers with Facebook pages may have to wait for updates from the site regarding the issue before making any reports. 

The badges will be removed by the end of October and page owner will be notified about it.

The gray checkmarks on Facebook pages are set to be removed this month. These badges who of the page is verified or not. Small businesses and brands will undergo an application process to legitimize their businesses on the platform but it won’t be used for long. 

According to Facebook’s chairperson, the removal of the verification mark is due to the feedback they’ve received over time. The social network will, however, look for other ways on how to show business authenticity. 

Facebook verification badge 

The badges were launched in the platform in 2015. Right after the exclusive blue badges were released for public figures, media companies, and brands. The blue badges are regulated by Facebook and it can’t be requested, however, Page owners can apply for badges via the Setting option on their Facebook page. 

Despite this, Facebook assured Page owners that this change will not impact the way their pages appear in search results. 

What does this mean for you?

The checkmark badge was every businesses’ way of telling people that their page is managed by a company. It works in that same way the blue badges for public figures, media companies, and brands work. 

With the removal of the Page badges, small businesses now have to put forth extra effort into proving their Page’ authenticity. Other pages that claim to be connected to your company may put the same posts as you and your audience will be divided. 

Businesses will need to be able to put up-to-date information and put it in the company’s contact details. Page administrators will have to post on a regular basis for its audience to see that the page company is still working. It’s also a way for them to see who to reach out to whenever users have queries on your product and services. 

Facebook will update Page owners of their new features to verify the authenticity of their page. The social media giant encourages SMB owners with Facebook pages to check out the Best Practices webpage to improve their page visibility and follower engagement. 

Social media platform, Facebook, announced changes in how it measures organic Pages impressions. 

Facebook has updated the way it filters organic impressions for Pages and says to be shortening the time-frame to calculate the metrics. This change was announced last week via the Facebook Business blog and will put into effect in the coming weeks. The update will be a game-changer in terms of presentation and data tracking. 

Changes coming to Facebook 

As reported last week, Facebook is removing the gray verification badge for Facebook Pages starting October 30. These badges show the Page’ authenticity as a verified Page on Facebook and have gong through the platform’s identification process. This badge is exclusive for businesses and organizations and users should not be confused with the blue badges that are for public figures, media companies, and brands. 

Another change coming to Facebook is that it will be calculating the organic impressions. A similar update was made last year when the social media platform updated its metrics and showed the number of times a post is shown on users’ screens instead of the number of times it’s delivered in News Feed. That particular change was intended to increase metrics based on the same people visiting and revisiting Pages and posts. The data became more accurate as it took out the repeat viewers from the metrics. 

New update to capture post views 

Nothing will change in the other engagement metrics, however, the change will be felt in the organic reach of Pages. Page owners will have a more accurate measurement of their audience and can plan a more consistent measurement methodology in their paid and organic reach reporting. The change may affect the figures that Pages will see and may lower their metrics. 

The Page report will also be redesigned to give businesses more simple and efficient Page reporting. Important information will be easy to spot and the most common metrics will stay at the top of the report. This includes the number of likes, reach, and engagement. It will also show the recent post-performance and new Page engagement. 

Page admins can use the new Page Insights design to make new ad campaigns that will reach a wider audience. It will be available to Android and iOS users today. 

What does this mean for you?

Marketers use the metrics to see how their ad campaigns are performing. This updated metric may impact their engagement rates, the number may drop. With this update, businesses will have easier access to their comparison reports across their paid and organic channels.

Facebook is contemplating ads within the Groups Tab.

Groups are a great place to find individuals in specific individuals and demographics. Facebook might capitalize on this by permanently adding ad placements into the group tab. The select advertisers will be able to utilize the new features in the Ads Manager. 

Business 2 Community explained their thoughts on the increased focus on community in the platform. Facebook has poured into its campaign aimed at increasing group engagement, and an example of this is an ad created by Facebook called “‘Game Day’ Commercial – More Together.”

Facebook’s Product Manager, Melissa Tokmak explained in an email to Marketing Land, “We’re running a small test to place ads in the Groups tab and will evaluate whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it further.”

Lately, Facebook has been making frequent updates to their ad platform, whether it’s to recoup ad dollars lost during the Cambridge Analytica breach or because users are becoming more aware of their privacy, Facebook wants to make their ad platform more attractive.  Updates have included increased transparency, tools to better track ROI, rebranded ad offerings, and integrations with Facebook Pixel.   

The social media superpower has also had increased competition from platforms like Microsoft Advertising, Amazon, and Google Ads. These preliminary Group Tab ad tests further prove Facebook’s need to grow and offer more personalized offerings that are competitive in the crowded ad competition.   

This ad offering could give users the ability to take in products and ads that line up with their sensibilities. Marketers being able to aim ads at a target market within a group could be a huge benefit to brands from large to small.