What will Facebook’s changes to ad transparency rules mean for student marketers?

What will Facebook’s changes to ad transparency rules mean for student marketers?

With Facebook’s decision to roll out big changes to their rules surrounding ad transparency, what will this mean for student marketers?

Facebook began running tests on their new feature in Canada last month that will allow users to view all the active ads a Page is running, including those on Messenger and Instagram. When visiting a Page, users will be able to click on a “View Ads” tab which will display all the Page’s active ads, regardless of if the user falls into the ad’s target audience or not. 

Mark Zuckerberg’s plans come at the same time Twitter have voiced their own plans to open an Advertising Transparency Center so that all users on the platform can view every ad campaign currently running on the social network, including those that don’t appear as regular tweets.

But, what’s influenced these plans for more transparency and authenticity around advertising?

Facebook has stated that the changes to their transparency and authenticity efforts are an attempt to “prevent abuse of [the] platform, while still promoting legitimate discussion of social issues and honest civic debate”.

The new changes and rules will be put into place to help tackle the controversy surrounding 2016’s US presidential election where it came to light that Russian-linked entities used digital platforms to reach and influence millions of Americans in the run-up to the election.

To reflect the concern highlighted by the government and the public surrounding election-related controversies, Facebook stated it will be demanding even higher levels of transparency from advertisers running political pages. In particular, on such pages, users will have access to view almost everything, including target data, spend and impressions, as well as historical ads. All of which will be rolled out just in time for next year’s federal elections in the US.

But it’s not just political advertisers coming under fire, and Facebook has made it clear that their work will make advertising on the platform transparent for all advertisers in a greater effort to set the bar for transparency in digital advertising.

What will these changes mean for student marketers?

Because of the huge pressure from governments and the public, there’s no doubt that Facebook will go to great lengths to provide more transparency around advertising on the platform. But, what will these changes actually mean? And what should you, as student marketers expect?

Such changes will allow all Facebook users to have a full overview of a business page’s paid ad content regardless of whether they fall into the originally intended targeted audience or not. Facebook has also stated that, to prevent advertisers avoiding these new rules all ad buys will have to be associated with a page.

Although users won’t have access to a page’s impressions, clicks or targeting data (other than on politically linked pages), they will be able to see every single paid ad, subjecting advertisers on Facebook to the same levels of scrutiny as TV and print advertisers.

But, what else could Facebook’s changes mean to student marketers?

We caught up with some of our Advertising Team to hear their views on Facebook’s proposed changes. Kaja Szczechura, Paid Media Manager at Net Natives stated…

At the moment we’re only able to access other advertiser’s display adverts and organic social posts, so Facebook’s proposed changes will certainly open up how we approach competitor analysis on social media. Not only will the changes give Facebook users greater visibility and improve trust, but the increase in transparency could also cause a potential uplift in creativity as more visibility will mean that brands will be more accountable for their creative.

And Zoe Bretton, our Strategic Advertising Manager said…

This is a positive step for Facebook as it will help to restore some of the trust users may have lost in advertising. Non-trustworthy advertisers who don’t want to be transparent may stop advertising, making the marketplace less competitive. Although, there have been some concerns surrounding how this increased transparency will give other marketers the ability to take inspiration from their competitor’s ad campaigns and creative. But, this is easily resolved. Ensuring your content is unique to your institution and brand will curb any chance of competitors duplicating your ideas; using current students, professors, academics and alumni to tell their stories will make your advertising completely unique to your university.

Ultimately, Facebook’s changes will mean it’s another platform for permanently showcasing good content, similar to blogs, websites and other organic methods. It will force advertisers to be consistently considerate and thoughtful with their content, which can only be a good thing.”

If you’d like to speak to one of our experts about how you can ensure your content is unique and your creative stands out in preparation for Facebook’s changes to its ad transparency rules, get in touch.

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