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Marketing API Updates for Special Ads Category

August 15, 2019ByLoren Abrams

We’ve made some updates to the details and deadlines below, and this content is not up to date. Use the resources below for the most accurate information on Special Ad Categories:

- Introducing Graph API v5.0 and Marketing API v5.0
- Special Ad Category

We’re committed to protecting people from discrimination on Facebook and, as part of this commitment, we announced changes earlier this year to all ads that offer housing, employment and credit opportunities.

Advertisers, developers and partners must specify whether their ads offer housing, employment or credit opportunities. They can do so by selecting a Special Ad Category, and once a category is selected in Ads Manager or via the Marketing API, a limited set of targeting options will then be available.

In June, we began rolling out these updates in Ads Manager, and we began enforcing these changes in Ads Manager on August 26. Today, we’re releasing Marketing API documentation to give developers a head start in understanding the changes that they will need to make to their products.

On September 16, the Special Ad Category fields will be available in the Marketing API. All developers must implement the Special Ad Category fields before December 4, 2019, and indicate if their campaigns fall under a Special Ad Category or not. Otherwise, ads may be paused for non-compliance.

Since these changes were implemented earlier in Ads Manager, ads that offer housing, employment or credit opportunities created through the Marketing API and subsequently edited in Ads Manager will need to be categorized under one of the Special Ad Categories prior to Dec. 4, 2019.

Important information for developers using the Marketing API:

All advertisers and developers using the Marketing API must take action by Dec. 4, 2019 by by updating the Special Ad Category field in the campaign creation calls:

  • Developers and advertisers that are located in the US or targeting users in the US and running ads with housing, employment and credit opportunities must specify their respective category.
  • Developers and advertisers that are located in the US or targeting users in the US and whose ads do not fall under one of the categories must specify NONE or the campaign creation requests will fail.
  • Developers and advertisers that are located outside the US whose ads target users outside of the US, regardless of the category, should specify NONE as well.

With Special Ad Category campaigns, some detailed targeting options, which may include demographics, behaviors or interests, will be unavailable, and advertisers will not be allowed to exclude detailed targeting options.

Important dates for developers:

  • Aug. 17, 2019: Marketing API documentation for Special Ad Category features available.
  • Sept. 16, 2019: Special Ad Category features will be made available in the Marketing API, and developers should begin implementing the above changes ahead of time to avoid any interruptions.
  • Dec. 4, 2019: All new campaigns must comply by this date, or these campaigns will no longer continue to run.
  • Starting in 2020, advertisers and developers will be required to modify any ongoing campaigns that began prior to Dec. 4 to comply with the new requirements.

Next steps for developers:

  • Review our Marketing API documentation to understand what changes need to be made. If you’re running an ad in a Special Ad Category, you will need to make additional updates to your campaigns.
  • Implement the Special Ad Category flow when it becomes available on Sept. 16. You will have until Dec. 4 to make the necessary changes before ads are automatically paused.