Last March 2019, Facebook launched the Facebook Ad Library, a database of Facebook ads that can be accessed on the web.
It contains information about Facebook Ads including ‘page creation date, previous page merges, and name changes’. It also shows the location of page managers and allows the community to report ad violations. This new features allows more community participation and access than ever before. In relation to that, marketers also noted that Ad Library can become useful for making digital advertising strategies.
Ad Library aims to bring transparency to how advertisements run on Facebook. By making the information public, the community can help regulate social media ads.
What comes as a surprise with this feature is that can be accessed by anyone, not just Facebook users. This allows digital ad information transparency regardless if you have Facebook or not. By allowing access to this data, Facebook indirectly brings a possible game changer for digital marketing and digital advertising strategies.
Ad Library Anatomy: Breaking Down All the Information You Have Access To
When you search for companies, digital ads, or keywords in Ad Library, you can see multiple information about these companies that were previously unavailable in Facebook.
Take for example this search for Ayala Land Inc, a real estate arm of Ayala Corporation and the largest property developer in the Philippines. The Page Transparency window on the right lists their page creation date, page name changes and page manager location.
Scrolling down would give you a list of ads the company run. Active and inactive ads, the launch dates, ad details, and a go-to link are seen within this part. You also have the option to filter location on top, which is useful global or multinational companies.
Clicking the three dots on the upper right corner of an ad allows you to report an ad for any false news or offensive content it contains. This is useful to help discontinue the spread of false information through the use of social media ads.
Below an ad, you can click “See Ad Details.”. The next page shows you other information regarding the company and its ad content.
“Why Am I Seeing This Ad?” on Sponsored Ads Added Details
Along with this feature, sponsored social media ads on Facebook has a feature called “Why am I seeing this ad?” as a disclaimer as to why ads are appearing in timeline in the first place. Though this feature has been there for a while, there are new transparent digital ad information added into this feature.
Digital ad details would show you why the ad appeared on your profile. It allows you to know who their target audience is and what topics these ads concern themselves with and whether this ad concerns you in the first place.
These can be accessed through desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets allowing access across all devices. The transparency of ad information extends power through Facebook users and non-users to help regulate online digital ad content and social media ads to assure it can be put to good use. Once Facebook Ad Library goes global, it would allow people all over the world to have information on ad spending and other stuff.
Although the feature stemmed from a series of political issues and turmoil, the feature expanded the possibilities of digital advertising strategies.
How Facebook Ad Library Can Expand Your Digital Advertising Strategy
There have been concerns from advertisers regarding this new ad policy that this could lead to plagiarism regarding their copies. As reported by Tech Crunch, Facebook is ‘expanding researchers and developers’ access to Ad Library API’. People with Facebook developer accounts have software access that could review data trends as long as they have verified profiles. The identity verification process allows Facebook to control abuse of terms of service. In addition, Facebook promises to limit access to this API to avoid another data abuse similar to Cambridge Analytica. However, the details of the limits aren’t described in detail. If a user is determined to be abusive with the use of Ad Library, access could be revoked altogether.
The available digital ad data would allow online marketers to research and follow trends of other companies. Digital marketers could see what social media ads actually work reducing the need of a trial and error campaign.
By showing inactive ads, researchers can determine what campaigns have been dropped altogether due to costs and poor conversion. They could also gather common advertising trends that companies do to see the content that works and what saturates the market the most.
Frank Watching stated that by having these data available, you can either see how you can stick out against your competitors or see how you can improve yours for your target audience.
The Facebook Ad Library Effect
The Facebook Ad Library is an ambitious project and could redirect how digital ads and social media ads work in the future. By having data transparency on Facebook, social responsibility and data responsibility has been magnified for both big and small companies.
Although this tool helps Facebook weed irresponsible ads, it indirectly becomes a tool for online markets and digital advertising strategies. When data gathering and researching, consider the Ad Library as an essential tool to cater to your target audience, along with other digital marketing tools like Google Trends.
Finally, marketers and social media enthusiasts should use the Ad Library through its initial purpose. By extending the power to the people, Facebook Ad Library success will ultimately end up with the masses. Its success could determine digital marketing stagnancy or saturation. But nevertheless, it is undeniable that digital marketing is evolving through social media ads.