Facebook is pulling back the curtain on its advertising business with its new Transparency Tool that will show users specific details on every ad running on the social network.

The new Facebook Transparency Tool will give users more information about any organization and the ads it’s currently running. This will mean increased accountability for advertisers which will help prevent abuse on Facebook.

What does the Transparency Tool mean to you as a digital marketer?

Mari Smith, “the Queen of Facebook,” takes you on a video tour on what changed, what does that mean to you and how to make the most out of this tool.


CLICK PLAY and make sure to up the volume on the video player by clicking on the audio icon.

What Changed with the Transparency Tool?

All Facebook business pages now have an “Info and Ads” tab that are visible on both desktop and mobile devices. The tabs show any active ads related to that account on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Networks.

Just log into Facebook, visit any Page and select “Info and Ads.” You’ll see ad creative and copy, and you can flag anything suspicious by clicking on “Report Ad.”

You can also learn more about Pages, even if they don’t advertise. For example, you can see any recent name changes and the date the Page was created. Facebook will be adding more Page information in the coming weeks.

This means that anyone can click on the tab and view your active ads even if they are not part of your target audience. This includes your competitors. In the past, you could use what was known as a “Dark Post”, which is an ad only visible to an audience you select. Now anyone can see your ads.

Your ad spend and past ads are not visible. So if you have a really good campaign you don't want others to model, you can stop your ads now and choose to use that campaign to send to your existing email list instead.

What Next?

If you subscribe to the competition model, then you might not like this new feature. You probably don't want your competition to view and model your ads. There is also the possibility that your competition can now dislike your ads and place negative comments on them. Facebook says that only your target audience can interact with your ads but at this point it seems like this feature is not available on mobile. We will have to wait and let Facebook iron out the bugs.

If you are like me and believe in coopetition, then you will welcome this tool. I believe this will allow businesses to focus more on providing value rather than getting more sales by bashing the competition or placing misleading ads. You will still have to monitor the comments on the ads like you do now and report any that contain spam links or abusive language.

This tool will also be useful for political ads that will be archived. That same archive can be reached by anyone in the world at facebook.com/politicalcontentads. By visiting the archive, you can see and search ads with political or issue content an advertiser has run in the US for up to seven years. Advertisers wanting to run ads with political content in the US will need to verify their identity and location.

For more details on the Facebook Transparency Tool, visit the Facebook newsroom page.