In the wake of Cambridge Analytica (and other assorted 2016 election-related social media scandals and flashpoints), major channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have taken significant steps to increase the transparency of advertisers on their platforms.
Of the handful of updates implemented, perhaps the most consumer-facing and notable feature change has been the ability to go to any Facebook Page, Instagram profile (assuming it’s a business profile), or LinkedIn Company Page and see what ads that company/individual is currently running.
Additionally, if the page has ever run political ads, those ads will always be findable under the transparency section, whether they are currently running or not.
Contrary to popular belief, during this period of increased, government and consumer-mandated transparency, advertisers actually stand to benefit and reap some pretty serious benefits. Let’s say your competitor is running a campaign… you are now able to visit their Facebook Page and see the exact language and visuals they use to represent their brand. This is true across Instagram and LinkedIn, as well.
While one cannot see who they’re targeting or how much they’ve spent, a trained marketer will be able to make educated guesses on which ads are being pushed to which audiences.
Twitter and YouTube do not currently offer this level of transparency, but we suspect, as the government continues to crack down on these sorts of features, it’s only a matter of time before they start walking down the same crystal clear, unambiguous path.
Your first question is probably, “Where can I find this info? How can I learn what ads brands are running across these various platforms?” WeDIA’s got you covered.
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