- Facebook announced updates to its Ad Library, formerly known as the Ad Archive in the U.S., creating a central place to see all active ads a page is running, according to a company blog post. More information about pages will be added, including page creation date, name changes, location of those managing it and advertiser spend information for ads related to politics or issues where the Ad Library report isn't available. Facebook will improve search in Ad Library, add the ability to report ads and update the Ad Library Report for ads for politics and issues daily.
- In addition, a Page Transparency section will be added to pages, with information about the date the page was created, name changes, previous merges and location. Access to the Ad Library API is also being expanded to allow others to analyze political or issue-related ads. In addition, news publishers' ads will not be required to go through the ad authorization process or label ads related to politics or issues. Instead, membership lists from third parties, the news page index and other criteria will be used to identify news publishers for exemption.
- In a separate report, 71% of marketers said they didn’t change their Facebook marketing strategy following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to a GoodFirms survey. Also, 73% said there were no "radical changes" for their Facebook post reach, and 81% found no major impact on their Facebook post engagement.
Transparency and authenticity have been a major focus for Facebook recently, as the company strives to improve trust with advertisers and users following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and increased government scrutiny in the U.S. and Europe. However, the GoodFirms research shows that most marketers haven't adjusted their Facebook marketing strategies despite the privacy issues. Even with all of Facebook’s changes, marketers have seen little impact on the reach and engagement of their posts.
While Facebook still commands a large presence in the digital ad market, its share is slipping. Facebook, including Instagram, will hold 22.1% of the digital ad market in 2019 compared to 21.8% last year, according to eMarketer forecasts. Unlike the GoodFirms research, other reports have highlighted marketers' desire for an alternative to the digital duopoly of Facebook and Google, which are seeing more competition from other digital platforms, like Amazon and Reddit, as marketers shift their ad dollars to those platforms.
Facebook also announced new transparency tools for political and issue ads worldwide, which the company says will hold it and advertisers more accountable, ahead of the European Parliamentary elections in May. EU advertisers will have to be authorized in their countries to run ads related to the election or issues important in the EU and include a "paid for by" disclaimer. The ads will be archived in the Ad Library.
The updated Ad Library follows a new brand safety certification that Facebook recently launched within the Facebook Marketing Partners program to help advertisers review content options and hold more control over where their ads appear. Facebook also updated several ad metrics, including removing lesser-used metrics, changing how potential reach is calculated and replacing the single relevance score with three ad relevance diagnostics metrics, including quality ranking, engagement rate ranking and conversion rate ranking.