Facebook demands ID verification for big Pages, ‘issue’ ad buyers

Facebook is looking to self-police by implementing parts of the proposed Honest Ads Act before the government tries to regulate it. To fight fake news and election interference, Facebook will require the admins of popular Facebook Pages and advertisers buying political or “issue” ads on “debated topics of national legislative importance” like education or abortion to verify their identity and location. Those that refuse, are found to be fraudulent or are trying to influence foreign elections will have their Pages prevented from posting to the News Feed or their ads blocked.

Meanwhile, Facebook plans to use this information to append a “Political Ad” label and “Paid for by” information to all election, politics and issue ads. Users can report any ads they think are missing the label, and Facebook will show if a Page has changed its name to thwart deception. Facebook started the verification process this week; users in the U.S. will start seeing the labels and buyer info later this spring, and Facebook will expand the effort to ads around the world in the coming months.

This verification and name change disclosure process could prevent hugely popular Facebook Pages from being built up around benign content, then sold to cheats or trolls who switch to sharing scams or misinformation.

Overall, it’s a smart start that comes way too late. As soon as Facebook started heavily promoting its ability to run influential election ads, it should have voluntarily adopted similar verification and labeling rules as traditional media. Instead, it was so focused on connecting people to politics, it disregarded how the connection could be perverted to power mass disinformation and destabilization campaigns.

“These steps by themselves won’t stop all people trying to game the system. But they will make it a lot harder for anyone to do what the Russians did during the 2016 election and use fake accounts and pages to run ads,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook. “Election interference is a problem that’s bigger than any one platform, and that’s why we support the Honest Ads Act. This will help raise the bar for all political advertising online.” You can see his full post below.

The move follows Twitter’s November announcement that it too would label political ads and show who purchased them.

Twitter’s mockup for its “Political” ad labels and “paid for by” information

Facebook also gave a timeline for releasing both its tools for viewing all ads run by Pages and to create a Political Ad Archive. A searchable index of all ads with the “political” label, including their images, text, target demographics and how much was spent on them, will launch in June and keep ads visible for four years after they run. Meanwhile, the View Ads tool that’s been testing in Canada will roll out globally in June so users can see any ad run by a Page, not just those targeted to them.

Facebook announced in October it would require documentation from election advertisers and label their ads, but now is applying those requirements to a much wider swath of ads that deal with big issues impacted by politics. That could protect users from disinformation and divisive content not just during elections, but any time bad actors are trying to drive wedges into society. Facebook wouldn’t reveal the threshold of followers that will trigger Pages needing verification, but confirmed it will not apply to small to medium-size businesses.

By self-regulating, Facebook may be able to take the wind out of calls for new laws that apply to online ads buyer disclosure rules on TV and other traditional media ads. Zuckerberg will testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on April 10, as well as the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11. Having today’s announcement to point to could give him more protection against criticism during the hearings, though Congress will surely want to know why these safeguards weren’t in place already.

With important elections coming up in the US, Mexico, Brazil, India, Pakistan and more countries in the next year, one…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, April 6, 2018

For more on Facebook’s recent troubles, check out our feature stories:

Facebook Stories open to Pages, bringing brands to the ghost town

 No one’s posting to Facebook Stories. Only 8 of my 2800 friends have Stories up right now, and 3 came from the new ‘cross-post from Instagram Stories’ feature. Maybe younger or international demographics are, but I’d bet they’re too wrapped up in Snapchat and Instagram. It’s slow adoption for a feature cloned from Snapchat that’s proven wildly… Read More

Facebook introduces daily video metrics for publishers

A video on Facebook.

Facebook today announced that it’s adding daily measurements of how much people watch videos posted on the social network.

Until now, people could see things like the number of views, the number of unique viewers, and the number of minutes that a video was viewed. Now, video publishers can find out how many minutes a video was viewed on a given day, the number of video views for a single day, and the number of times a video was viewed for 10 seconds on one day (or how many times people viewed at least 97 percent of videos that last for less than 10 seconds), Facebook product manager Anaid Gomez-Ortigoza wrote in a blog post.

“This new data gives Page owners a better understanding of when their audiences are watching their videos, providing a more detailed picture of performance that we hope will help publishers inform their video strategies,” Gomez-Ortigoza wrote.

Facebook redesigned its video metrics last month. Video analytics for Facebook Pages arrived in 2014. The video library, which helps users keep track of all their videos, became available in July.

You can find the new daily metrics in the video library or in Page Insights, Gomez-Ortigoza wrote. The Insights application programming interface (API) will get daily video metrics later.

More information:
Get more stories like this:  twitter  facebook









Facebook introduces daily video metrics for publishers

A video on Facebook.

Facebook today announced that it’s adding daily measurements of how much people watch videos posted on the social network.

Until now, people could see things like the number of views, the number of unique viewers, and the number of minutes that a video was viewed. Now, video publishers can find out how many minutes a video was viewed on a given day, the number of video views for a single day, and the number of times a video was viewed for 10 seconds on one day (or how many times people viewed at least 97 percent of videos that last for less than 10 seconds), Facebook product manager Anaid Gomez-Ortigoza wrote in a blog post.

“This new data gives Page owners a better understanding of when their audiences are watching their videos, providing a more detailed picture of performance that we hope will help publishers inform their video strategies,” Gomez-Ortigoza wrote.

Facebook redesigned its video metrics last month. Video analytics for Facebook Pages arrived in 2014. The video library, which helps users keep track of all their videos, became available in July.

You can find the new daily metrics in the video library or in Page Insights, Gomez-Ortigoza wrote. The Insights application programming interface (API) will get daily video metrics later.

More information:
Get more stories like this:  twitter  facebook









Facebook introduces daily video metrics for publishers

A video on Facebook.

Facebook today announced that it’s adding daily measurements of how much people watch videos posted on the social network.

Until now, people could see things like the number of views, the number of unique viewers, and the number of minutes that a video was viewed. Now, video publishers can find out how many minutes a video was viewed on a given day, the number of video views for a single day, and the number of times a video was viewed for 10 seconds on one day (or how many times people viewed at least 97 percent of videos that last for less than 10 seconds), Facebook product manager Anaid Gomez-Ortigoza wrote in a blog post.

“This new data gives Page owners a better understanding of when their audiences are watching their videos, providing a more detailed picture of performance that we hope will help publishers inform their video strategies,” Gomez-Ortigoza wrote.

Facebook redesigned its video metrics last month. Video analytics for Facebook Pages arrived in 2014. The video library, which helps users keep track of all their videos, became available in July.

You can find the new daily metrics in the video library or in Page Insights, Gomez-Ortigoza wrote. The Insights application programming interface (API) will get daily video metrics later.

More information:
Get more stories like this:  twitter  facebook









Facebook Pages become more mobile-friendly with new action buttons and sections

Screenshot of Doug the Pug Facebook Page

MENLO PARK, CALIF. — Facebook says it’s going to help businesses make themselves more accessible on mobile devices. The social networking company announced today that it’s updating its Pages offering to now not only include enhanced call-to-action buttons, and improved Page layout, but also new sections — all geared towards the mobile audience.

“Building an online presence is hard,” says Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. “And building a mobile presence is even more difficult.” With Facebook, it’s free. “It’s the mobile-Web presence for small business customers.”

And Facebook is certainly a place for this community: there are now more than 45 million active businesses on the platform. Sandberg views small business akin to being about entrepreneurship that’s used to create opportunity for families and their customers. She reiterated the company’s mission to connect everyone together, and this is especially applicable to small businesses. Sandberg remarked that Facebook is able to connect business owners to new customers, delight them, and even help source materials and talent.

Facebook Pages -- updated call to action buttonsStarting today, Page administrators will be able to incorporate new call-to-action (CTA)/messaging buttons and will find that they’re featured more prominently to capture the user’s attention. Although CTA buttons aren’t exactly new, admins can opt to use one of several that Facebook is currently testing on mobile, such as “Call Now”. Previously, Pages could have one of seven buttons, including “Book Now”, “Contact Us”, “Use App”, “Play Game”, “Shop Now”, “Sign Up”, and “Watch Video”.

To help businesses cater towards their audiences instead of forcing them to conform to the structure Facebook has for all Pages, new sections are being added that administrators can take advantage of. To start, the social networking company is releasing new Shop and Services sections. The former is geared towards helping retail businesses showcase their products more prominently. The latter will enable professionals to tout their offerings right front and center on their Page.

Facebook Pages update -- new sectionsThe inclusion of a Shop section is intriguing since it’ll allow businesses to sell more of their products right from their Page, thanks to the integration of a Buy button earlier this year. In doing so, Facebook could possibly be trying to circumvent administrators going to third-party services like Shopify for their e-commerce needs.

Although there are different Page categories, the Shop and Services sections appear specific to the “Local Business or Place” category — although it could be said that at least Shop is viable for other Page types including entertainment, brand or product, and cause or community.

Facebook isn’t done sprucing up its Pages for businesses. In addition to all of this, in the coming weeks, users will notice a new coat of paint on the Page. The company says that this is being done to help make it easier to find information without “lots of scrolling and clicking.” One noticeable update is Facebook’s updated emphasis on tabbed navigation: Page visitors will be able to click on a tab associated with a particular section to see the details. Of course you’ll be able to get a summary of all the sections on the Home tab.

Facebook Pages -- updated layout with tabsMore than 655 million access Facebook exclusively via their mobile device. What’s more, regardless of device, the company says over 1 billion people visit Pages every month. Businesses are eager to find ways to further tap into this market opportunity and have probably prodded Facebook to provide more tools to become more engaging with users.

There can be a lot of information on a Page, whether it’s through admin-created posts or comments left by fans. It just doesn’t work the same way on mobile — people hate scrolling incessantly to find the information they want. So now Facebook is tweaking its Pages to accommodate businesses.

Facebook has been taking steps to update its Pages offering. Most recently, it introduced a tool that allowed Page admins to respond privately to customer concerns. It also started giving video publishers more control in how their content would be distributed and seen on the social network. There’s also the added capability for administrators to pull up saved responses to common questions.


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“The new features for Pages reflect our belief that no matter if you’re a plumbing company, a flower shop, a non-profit or a brand, your Page should house the information people are looking for, help you communicate with your customers, and support your unique goals,” the company says in a blog post.

Today’s event took place in Facebook’s new office building in Menlo Park, Calif., and was attended by dozens of small business owners and constituents. The release of these features could definitely benefit this community as they are probably looking to the social network to help build up a bigger brand for themselves against larger chain stores.

Never one to be content with the status quo, Facebook went on to say that more call-to-actions and sections will become available in the future.

More information:

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