Hot on the heels of a similar decision by Twitter, Facebook has announced several measures in order to boost the transparency of the ads that it displays on its website, Instagram, and Messenger. It plans to begin the rollout in Canada and follow up with the U.S. by the Summer in time for the U.S. midterm elections in November. Other countries around the world will receive the changes at around the same time as the U.S.
So, with regards to what users will see, Facebook plans to add a “View Ads” button on Pages so you can see which ads that Page is running on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. It doesn’t matter whether or not the ads are targeted at you or not, they’ll all be shown to give you more information.
Rob Goldman, VP of Ads, said:
“All pages will be part of this effort, and we will require that all ads be associated with a Page as part of the ad creation process … During this initial test, we will only show active ads. However, when we expand to the US we plan to begin building an archive of federal-election related ads so that we can show both current and historical federal-election related ads.”
Each ad related to the federal election will be included in a searchable archive so that anyone can go back and review them, details will be provided on the total amounts spent, the number of impressions per ad will be viewable, and the demographics pertaining to the audience reached will be provided too.
Facebook will make sure that advertisers who want to run political ads undergo more vetting; for those advertisers who don’t proactively disclose themselves, Facebook will build machine learning tools which will help Facebook find the advertisers and verify their identity.