Facebook Is Taking Steps to Bring More Transparency to Its Custom Audiences

Users will see more information in the ‘Why Am I Seeing This’ drop-down menu on ads

Facebook said, 'When ad targeting is done well, it provides value to both people and businesses' AnsonLu/iStock

Facebook Wednesday announced updates to its custom audiences ad-targeting options, as well as the “Why Am I Seeing This” drop-down menu that users can access when they view ads.

The social network said in a blog post detailing the updates, “When ad targeting is done well, it provides value to both people and businesses. We hope these updates will make it easier for businesses to advertise efficiently and effectively, while providing more transparency to people.”

Starting July 2, advertisers must specify the origin of information on audiences when they upload new audiences—whether the information was collected directly from people, provided by partners or a combination.

Facebook users who view ads will be able to access the “Why Am I Seeing This” drop-down menu and view the source of that information and if the advertiser was able to reach them via their phone numbers or email addresses. The social network emphasized that users can still choose to stop seeing ads from particular advertisers via their Ad Preferences.

Also starting July 2, when advertisers share custom audiences from customer files, such as with their ad agencies, both parties must establish an audience-sharing relationship through Business Manager and agree to Facebook’s custom audiences terms.

Facebook said in its blog post, “As always, advertisers who use custom audiences from a customer file are ultimately responsible for having any necessary permission to use and share people’s data. While these responsibilities haven’t changed, advertisers will start seeing more regular, detailed reminders of their obligation to help protect people’s privacy before they run their ads. We will also now require everyone on an ad account uploading custom audiences to accept the terms, rather than only requiring this from the admin on the account.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.