Besides being the world’s most popular social media platform, Facebook is also a significant force when it comes to online advertising. Facebook ads are easy to create, inexpensive, and the campaign can be fine-tuned to reach a target audience. However, these factors can also be used by less principled marketers to promote shady services to vulnerable audiences. To reduce the potential for abuse and illegal activity, Facebook recently announced new restrictions for certain types of ads on the platform.
Most announcements from Facebook regarding its advertising services are about new restrictions that are being added to prevent abuse. In this case, Facebook is actually relaxing some of its rules regarding financial services while increasing restrictions in other ways.
Last year, Facebook implemented restrictions on advertising that promoted cryptocurrency, blockchain, and certain financial services. In the eyes of Facebook (and many economists), these financial instruments were being sold to people who were unlikely to benefit from these services. For example, Facebook blocked ads about blockchain and cryptocurrency, as there were many schemes that got people to spend money on cryptocurrency that wouldn’t maintain its value. To run ads about these topics, users had to get written pre-approval from Facebook.
In the newer set of rules, Facebook has removed the blanket prohibition on this topic,.Website owners that discuss blockchain technology or feature news about the industry at large will be able to run ads on Facebook without applying for approval.
While the rules regarding blockchain and cryptocurrency have been relaxed, new regulations and conditions have been added or other financial products. As new, complex and potentially misleading financial instruments are created, Facebook modifies its rules to exclude ads that promote such services.
In a blog post announcing the new change, a Facebook spokesperson wrote, “And starting June 5, we will update our Prohibited Financial Products and Services policy to no longer allow ads promoting contracts for difference (CFDs), complex financial products that are often associated with predatory behavior. These products, due to their complexity, often mislead people. We’ll also continue to ban ads for initial coin offerings (ICOs) as well as ads for binary options.”
The changes provide marketers who promote blockchain, cryptocurrency and other new financial instruments with new opportunities to reach their target audience. For example, though you can’t promote a page getting people to sign up for an ICO, you can write content about the industry which can be used to bring people back to your site. Keep in mind that the landing page used for the ad can’t feature products that would have required approval. Doing so could result in your ad being turned off in the future.
Companies that want to run a cryptocurrency exchange or provide mining hardware will still need to apply for approval from Facebook. This approval process considers multiple things. For example, the process takes “into account licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange (or are a subsidiary of a public company) and other relevant public background on their business.”
For more news and updates about Facebook, read this article on some other recent changes Facebook made to fight problematic content.