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Facebook is limiting the number of advertisements that can be run on a page, and the implications of this decision are likely to be seismic. Although the change was announced by the tech giant towards the back end of 2019, it will not be introduced by Facebook until an unspecific point expected to be in the middle of 2020. That gives companies with Facebook pages some time to decide how they are going to change their ad strategies on pages before the amendment comes into effect in a few months. Facebook claimed that its decision would only have an impact on a small percentage of advertisers, but the proof will be in the pudding.
Evan Klein, who wrote the Facebook blog post that was used to announce the decision to restrict ads on a page, explained an advertiser’s performance is likely to be affected if very high ad volume is in place. He wrote: “With too many ads running at the same time, fewer ads exit the learning phase and more budget is spent before the delivery system can optimize an ad’s performance.” Facebook released the Ad Volume API to allow companies to come to terms with the move, with this giving users with an ad account the chance to track a page’s ad volume. It is also intended that the Ad Volume API will also be able to track the number of ads that can be used on a page once the change comes into effect. Advertisers who are concerned about the impact of the change should, therefore, make sure they have already got access to the Ad Volume API and started to test it out. Further announcements about the move to limit the number of ads that can be run on a Facebook page are expected to be made by the company in the weeks to come.
Facebook’s announcement did not mention it at all, but the decision has widely been taken to be a move that was made with the upcoming presidential election in the United States in mind. The social media behemoth was criticized for its impact on the election of Donald Trump to the Oval Office after Facebook ads played a huge role in him being able to defeat Hillary Clinton. While a rival such as Twitter has opted to ban political advertisements altogether ahead of the presidential poll that is coming later in the year, Facebook opted not to follow suit. Speaking to journalists during a conference call when this issue was making headlines a couple of months ago, the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said:
“In a democracy, I don’t think it’s right for private companies to censor politicians or the news.”
Facebook’s problem is the company is simply unable to monitor all the ads placed on its pages. Still, Zuckerberg accepts and acknowledges some responsibility on their part. It seems as though the decision to limit the number of Facebook ads that can be run on a page has been made with the presidential election in mind, though the company will not confirm this. Let’s play the benefit of the doubt and see how their move will play out when the change comes into effect, but anyone running Facebook ads on pages should keep their eyes and ears open for more updates.
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