Facebook’s Political Ads Archive is Live

Facebook is rolling out changes that will make political, advocacy, and issue advertising on the platform more secure and transparent.

Last week, Facebook officially launched the Political Ads Archive, one of several changes the company has promised to roll out over the next several months in an effort to make advertising more transparent. The archive is a searchable database that stores Facebook and Instagram ads that are labeled as “Political Advertising,” which includes political, issue, and advocacy content. For example, if you type in “Donald Trump,” you will find over 8,000 results with ads that include the search term in the name of the Facebook Page, or in the written copy of the ad. This also goes for key issue areas, such as “taxes” (~960 results) and “immigration” (~430 results).

For each ad stored in the archive, you can see the following:

  • The status of the ad (active or inactive)
  • How long the ad has been running
  • Who is paying for the ad (the Paid For Disclaimer)
  • The ad creative
  • High-level ad performance metrics, including estimated impressions, budget spent, and a location/demographic breakdown.

The archive includes ads dating back to May 7, 2018, and will keep content for up to seven years. For those of us who work in the political and issue advertising space, this allows us to see the ads other campaigns or advertisers are running, which has been impossible to identify up until now. On the flip side, it’s also important to keep in mind that this information is publicly available as you are building a social media advertising plan.

As we shared last month, there are a handful of changes already underway for advertisers (i.e. increased requirements for authenticity), as well as new features we should see soon (i.e. the view ads feature). We will continue to keep you posted as we navigate these changes and share best practices for how to optimize your digital advertising campaigns and strategies.

Have questions or want to discuss more? Email us: digital@globalstrategygroup.com

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Facebook’s Political Ads Archive is Live