Facebook clamps down on poor quality advertisements

Facebook says no to ‘spammy’ advertisements

Facebook has announced a new set of restrictions, and increased penalties, for brands that publish ‘low quality’ ads on its platform.

Facebook will eliminate low quality ads, such as ones that include clickbait or direct people to unexpected content, creating bad experiences for people.

“We are now going further in our efforts to limit low-quality ads on our platforms by disapproving of more of them and reducing distribution for more ads in our auction,” said the social media platform.

So what counts as ‘low quality’ in a Facebook ads sense? Here are three examples:

1. Engagement bait
These are your typical ‘like and share’ posts, re-packaged as ads. Facebook has specific rules against using such methods in contests, but they also don’t like them in promotions.

It makes sense why brands would want to use these tactics, particularly given that engagement is key to maximizing reach within the News Feed algorithm.

But such methods also skew the data, which nullifies the effectiveness of the algorithm system – i.e. Facebook is working to showcase the best, most engaging content to users, and these posts undermine that based on an engagement ‘hack’.

2. Withholding information
Facebook also dislikes ads which lure clicks by alluding to the full detail of the post without being clear on what that detail actually is.

These type of ads were what inspired the News Feed algorithm in the first place because Facebook was concerned that its network would be overrun by clickbait and spam.

So ads that lure people with a click could very well be spam and lead to a poorer user experience.

3. Sensationalized language

Then there is the type of Facebook ad that has exaggerated headlines with lots of hyperbole and key words like ‘amazing’, ‘mind blowing’ and ‘you won’t believe’.

And the last Facebook ad approach in the firing line are ‘ads which use exaggerated headlines or command a reaction from people but don’t deliver on the landing page’.

In fact, when BuzzSumo analyzed the most shared headlines on Facebook and Twitter last year, several examples of this type came up – and they can be effective, but as demonstrated in the example above, they can also be unnecessary, untruthful, and again, lead to a poor user experience.

So if you’re placing an ad on Facebook just make sure you’re not doing it for the sake of sensationalism, and that your content actually aligns with the claims.

Facebook will now be actively enforcing these measures more stringently, and will be imposing penalties for violations.

What are the potential penalties?

Individual ads with low-quality attributes will see reduced distribution in our ad auction, or will be disapproved.

This applies to all advertisers, but since we tend to see more of these characteristics in ads related to media, entertainment, politics or issues of national importance, they may be impacted more.

So, your ads are going to get less reach, which boils down to higher costs in the long run. In essence, if you’re running a Facebook ad campaign, its best to be honest about your products and services and avoid the over the top approaches.

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