Facebook today announced it would be migrating the now publicly available Ads API from the legacy REST API to the Graph API by January 2012, and that programmatic access to new features will only be available via the Graph API. Developers of Ads API tools and services that allow for efficient management of massive Facebook ad campaigns should look to migrate as soon as possible to retain access to forthcoming improvements.
Facebook has also released the source code for the Ads Power Editor, its internally developed Ads API tool, to provide a development example..
The Ads API was officially launched to the public at the beginning of August after nearly two years of private beta testing with a limited set of partners. It joined the Pages and Insights APIs to form the Facebook Marketing APIs.
The Ads API permits developers to devise apps that manage Facebook ads programmatically, permitting simultaneous creation of thousands of ad variants, dynamic bid optimization, and deep analytics. These functionalities are crucial to running large scale ad campaigns for brands and game developers at the lowest possible cost.
The Ads API spawned a whole industry of licensable tool and managed spend service providers. We’ve reviewed the offerings of many of these companies, including those catering specifically to certain verticals such as TBG Digital for brands, AdParlor for game developers, Spruce Media for direct response advertisers, and Efficient Frontier for those also running search advertising.
The migration announcement should set the development teams of these companies into high gear so they can provide their customers with the latest improvement to the Ads API, such as new Sponsored Stories ad unit types, analytics data fields, and targeting options. With single clients sometimes representing millions in ad spend, no Ads API provider would want to lose their edge to competitors that have migrated from the legacy REST API to the Graph API before the January deadline.
Developers who’ve been approved to access the Ads API and have migrated to the Graph API will need users to authorize their ads apps with
ads_management permission. The developers may then begin making Graph API calls on their behalf. The new Ads on the Graph API documentation provides for details on migrating and Ads API use.
By looking at the Ads Power Editor source code, developers can learn how to build basic functionality for creating campaigns, buying ads, managing bids, and reporting performance. By moving to the modern, widely used Graph API and providing example code, development of Ads API tools should become easier. This could lead to creation of more niche Ads API tools and services for specific industries.