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Facebook’s new transparency could come at a price for political advertisers. Photo: Jeff Chiu / AP

In an effort to self-regulate advertising on its platform, Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that in the coming months, Facebook will not only require that political advertisers disclose which Facebook page paid for an ad, "but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser's page and see the ads they're currently running to any audience on Facebook."

Why it matters: Ad buyers overwhelmingly support Facebook's efforts to be more transparent and to crack down on ads that lead to bad pages, but worry about how publicly disclosing their ads will change the way they compete with those advocating for opposing ideologies.

  • "This is a win for transparency and a win for Facebook ad revenue. Even the campaign managers and advertisers most reluctant to spend on Facebook ads might change their minds and up their budgets when they see what ads their competitors are running," says Colin Berglund, digital director at Rational 360, an advocacy and public affairs firm in Washington.
  • "It's probably a natural evolution as an industry matures, but it will make the process more cumbersome and it will also allow competitors to see how you are targeting audiences," says Rob Collins, partner at the public affairs firm S-3 Group and former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The details: They're unclear. Advertisers are assuming — but don't know for sure — that the rules apply to all "political" ads, meaning all cause and appeal messages from trade associations, coalitions, corporate lobbying shops, etc., or simply ads that advocate for the election of a candidate to political office.

They're are also unsure of exactly how Facebook will technically manage uploading tens of thousands of ads to Facebook pages per day. For ad buyers that test thousands of different ad iterations per day, they worry Facebook may not technically have the bandwidth at this time to display all of those ads on a single Facebook page.

Other advertisers are working to respond to the newly-announced limits to targeting terms on the platform, and trying to figure out how to reroute their campaigns. Most say they are confident that Facebook will eventually reinstate an updated version of its old structure, once it's completed once it has reviewed the terms in its system..

"Facebook still has the best targeting options and I wouldn't be surprised if they figure a way to bring a lot of that back," says Matt DeLuca, a consultant with over a decade of political ad buying experience at Edelman and AARP. Earlier this year DeLuca reported KKK targets on the platform after trying to exclude alt-right users from a clients' ad campaign and says Facebook had "removed most of them but not all."

Go deeper

Updated 24 mins ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Iraqis dressed in traditional outfits greet Pope Francis upon his arrival at Erbil airport, the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region, on March 7. Photo: Safin Hamed/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting northern areas of Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.