Facebook, Instagram to reveal more on how ads target users

Facebook, Instagram to reveal more on how ads target users

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, said it will start publicly providing more details about how advertisers target people with political ads

May 23, 2022, 10: 12 PM

3 min read

The announcement follows years of criticism that the social media platforms withhold too much information about how campaigns, special interest groups and politicians use the platform to target small pockets of people with polarizing, divisive or misleading messages.

Meta also owns Instagram and will begin releasing information in July about the demographics of those who are targeted by ads on its two main social networks. The company will also disclose the amount of money spent by advertisers to target certain states.

These new details could shed light on the ways politicians mislead or promote controversial political messages to certain groups of people. For years, Democrats and advocacy groups have argued that misleading political ads are overtaking the Facebook feeds Spanish-speaking people.

This information will be displayed in the Facebook Ad Library, a public database that already displays how much each ad is costing companies, politicians, or campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Anyone can view the amount of money a page spent on an ad, as well as the breakdown of ages, gender, and countries that the ad was shown in.

The information will be available across 242 countries when a social issue, political or election ad is run, Meta said in a statement.

Meta collected $86 billion in revenue during 2020, the last major U.S. election year, thanks in part to its granular ad targeting system. Facebook’s advertising system is so flexible that advertisers can target one user from billions of users on the platform if they wish.

Meta announced Monday that it will provide researchers new details to show advertisers which interest categories they selected to target people on Facebook.

ABC News

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