Monday 19th November 2018

Twitter and Facebook announce new features that provide more information on advertisements

Both platforms will provide information on demographic targeting by political advertisers. Twitter has also announced the launch of its new Ad Transparency Center.
Jason Smith
by on 1st July 2018

Twitter and Facebook have announced new features that allow all users to view more information on advertisements served across their platforms, according to announcements posted on the social networks’ websites.

Facebook users can click the new “info and ads” link available on a brand’s page to view the active ads being served by that brand. Meanwhile, Twitter will display all ads purchased by a brand in the last seven days within its new Ad Transparency Center.

According to the announcement on Twitter’s website, only US federal election campaigning ads will be displayed initially however it plans to make all advertisements served by all advertisers searchable in the future.

Both Facebook and Twitter will provide more data on ads defined as political advertisements. For Twitter, this includes billing information, ad spend and impression data per tweet.

Meanwhile Facebook announced a new archive last month, available at https://www.facebook.com/politicalcontentads, that displays impression data, ad spend and demographic targeting data on political ads served on its platform.

As per previous announcements, both platforms will include labels and disclaimers on ads with political content.

In its latest announcement Facebook also points to a new feature that allows users to view the name change history of a page as well as the date the page was created. It also plans to launch a political ads archive for Brazil in advance of the country’s upcoming election in October.

Moreover, under Twitter new political ads policy, “foreign nationals” are prohibited from serving political ads to citizens in the US and anyone wishing to serve political ads to US users must go through a certification process.

Despite intense scrutiny over its data protection and advertising practices, Facebook’s advertising revenue has increased 69 percent year-on-year for Q1 of 2018, according to a report from ad buying platform 4C.

However, Facebook’s new political ads policy has caused controversy among news organizations.

In an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in May, David Chavern, CEO and President of News Alliance, a trade association representing 2,000 news organizations in North America, stated:

“Your plan to group quality publishers alongside political advocacy, which the ad archive will do, dangerously blurs the lines between real reporting and propaganda. It is a fundamental mischaracterization of journalism that threatens to undermine its ability to play its critical role in society as the fourth estate.”

In response to the criticism, Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of global news partnerships, stated, “news content about politics is different and we are working with publishers to develop the right approach.”