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Good Ads Make for a Good Ecosystem

July 28, 2009ByNick Gianos

The Facebook Platform team is excited by the innovation we're seeing as developers create new ways to bring value to users. The canvas is yours to fill -- your direct connection to users for delivering the experience you design.

You're welcome to monetize that experience however you think best, whether through virtual goods, subscriptions, advertising, or whatever you choose. But ads work best when they provide users genuine value, respect their trust, and otherwise ensure the best possible user experience.

New Advertising Guidelines

To protect user experience and better guide developers and ad networks, today we're announcing that all ads within applications on Platform must comply with the Advertising Guidelines that Facebook enforces for its own ad system.

Please remember that developers have never been allowed to send user data received from Facebook to ad networks, and we take firm action against this. If you run code provided by an ad network in the operation of your application, be sure you understand what this code does.

Regardless of whether data is being sent to ad networks or not, ads that display user data are not allowed in Platform applications unless specifically approved by Facebook. This applies whether the user data is obtained directly from Facebook or otherwise, and whether the ad or data is rendered by an ad network or developer. We are exploring how we could enable such ads while meeting high standards of user experience, but for now no such ads are authorized.

A revision of the Advertising Guidelines that better accommodates Platform will be posted in the next day and is effective starting Monday 3 August 2009 at noon Pacific time.

Be Responsible for the Ads You Display

We consider advertising to be part of your application, and as such has been and will continue to be subject to the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and the Platform Guidelines. We'd like to remind you that you are responsible for all content within your application, and will be held accountable for any policy violations in ads appearing in your application, regardless of whether you have served them or they come from a third-party ad network. Facebook will enforce against developers and applications that include policy-violating ads -- such as by imposing a temporary restriction on functionality or permanently disabling the application -- as we do for other instances of policy violation.

As we've discussed recently, when we see ads that undermine trust, abuse users, or otherwise violate policy, we take action to stop them. And in two recent cases we prohibited entire advertising networks from providing services to applications, because the networks weren't compliant with our policies and failed to correct their practices.

Improving the Ecosystem

Developer monetization and the cultivation of a thriving, diverse ecosystem are important to us. Ensuring that users are comfortable with ads engenders more engagement and monetization for developers, and more traffic for ad networks and their advertisers. With these steps we hope to improve the environment for all, as together we provide the best value for users and the best opportunities for everyone.


Developers with questions are welcome to contact us via the Developer Help Contact Form. Ad networks and advertisers can reach us via the Platform Advertising Contact Form.