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New Changes to Facebook’s Ad Manager and Platform

Facebook ad manager changes displayed on a laptop on an outdoor table

Facebook has been making some changes to their platform, and it’s something that marketers need to take note of! Starting in 2019, the social media giant began to roll out changes to their Ads Manager. These updates and new features were designed not only to increase user-friendliness and increase advertising efficiency but also to allow for improved prevention of what Facebook deems to be discriminatory ad practices. Each time Facebook makes a major change to their platform, be it the mobile app, Business Manager or Ad Manager, Messenger, or simply the platforms display and design, it can be anticipated that there will be slow rollouts taking place over the course of weeks or even months, with improvements being made over the course of the initial rollout. Essentially, when Facebook decides to make a change, it won’t happen all at once, but when it does you will notice.

New Design

Back in February of 2019, rumors started circulating that Facebook was testing out a new Ad Manager user interface, with many marketers calling it a mix between Google Ads and Reddit, and we have to agree.

The new interface introduces a start white background with very few colors in the design, and navigation tabs removed in favor of dropdown menus. The change can be a bit intimidating, especially if you haven’t spent time in other platform’s ad managers however, after a short time spent exploring, it is rather intuitive.

New left panel navigation has been added, where the dropdown menus for toggling between Campaign, Ad Set, and Ad are housed, and the dropdown for toggling between accounts themselves have been shifted over to the date range dropdown for a more compressed look. The ad tab has also seen the addition of the engagement rate and conversation rate ranking columns, as well as “view charts” and “history” gaining a more prominent display under the “edit” menu.

What are Special Ad Categories?

Hand scrolling through real estate ads on a smartphone

Housing, employment, and credit advertisers on Facebook must comply with the newly introduced Special Ad Categories by December of 2019 or risk their campaigns being terminated. The update limits the targeting options available to businesses submitting housing, employment, or credit ads to keep marketers from running “discriminatory ad campaigns”.

Once checking off your ad as being part of a Special Category, advertisers will lose access to demographics, behaviors, and interests as targeting options, instead replaced with the ability to create Special Ad Audiences. By creating a Facebook Special Ad Audience, advertisers can allow Facebook to generate an audience based on historical performance, of the users most likely to perform the desired action or have an interest. While these changes do certainly make qualification a bit harder (especially for high-end real estate projects), ads for credit opportunities are at a much lower risk of being flagged for removal. 

Worries for the Health and Wellness Industry?

If you’ve never seen an advertisement on social media claiming that their health supplement will make you drop pounds faster than Humpty Dumpty falling off that wall, or that this new super-food will cure all of your illnesses, consider yourself lucky. While these sensational health claim ads do stretch far and wide, the impact of their dishonesty has now negatively affected the entire health and wellness industry.

Facebook will be automatically reducing the number of posts with what they deem to be sensational health claims within the algorithm, and by extension, the newsfeed. These limited views will be flagged by identifying phrases that were common in misleading health-related posts, and while we do not yet know what the list is, it is critical for health and wellness advertisers to monitor their performance over the coming months for any dips.

Changes to Mobile Ad Formatting?

User scrolling through Facebook on an iPhone

Beginning in August 2019, Facebook’s mobile ad formatting and mobile Page post formatting has started to look a little different. In order to make it easier for users to scroll through the newsfeed in less time, content on mobile will be compressed.

Where primary text used to show seven lines, now only 3 lines will be visible with the rest available under a “see more” button. The maximum height for videos and images has also been reduced to a 4:5 aspect ratio as opposed to the former 2:3 aspect ratio. Be sure that your videos are less than 4:5 aspect ratio in height or they will not show up in the mobile newsfeed.

Our Final Thoughts

Where we haven’t been bombarded with updates in 2019 on Facebook, we are starting to see some new and very significant changes being made as of late, and we can expect to see even more major changes in the near future. These changes will take time to create, roll out slowly, and update as needed so it’s best for marketers to keep an eye out for any rumors circulating about Facebook platform changes, they just might be true. If Facebook platform changes have you worried, and you just don’t have the time to keep up with all of these updates, enlisting a full-service digital marketing agency to your team will ensure your strategy is up-to-date and will reduce the stress of worrying about pending platform changes.