Everything you need to know about the new Facebook ads limit which comes into force in Feb 2020, and how it will affect your advertising.

In October last year, Facebook announced that it would introduce a limit on the number of ads that businesses can run on a Page at any one time. The social giant initially planned to implement the limitation in mid-2020 but it put the plans on ice due to the coronavirus outbreak, promising to hold off until early 2021.

We now know that the ad limits per Page will take effect on 16 February 2021 and Facebook has also published the threshold for limitations, based on annual ad spend. In this article, we look at the numbers you need to know about the Facebook ads limit and what it might mean for your business.

What are ad limits per Page?

Quite simply, ad limits per Page restrict the number of ads you can run for a single Facebook Page at any one time. To cater for advertisers of all sizes, Facebook is implementing four limit thresholds, based on the annual ad spend of each page.

Here’s a preview of the numbers Facebook has given us:

Advertiser size and Ad limit

Small-to-medium-sized Pages (advertising less than USD 100,000 in their highest spending month in the last 12 months) 250 ads
Medium-to-large-sized Pages (advertising less than USD one million in their highest spending month in the last 12 months) 1,000 ads
Larger Pages (advertising less than USD ten million in their highest spending month in the last 12 months) 5,000 ads
Largest Pages (advertising USD ten million or more in their highest spending month in the last 12 months) 20,000 ads

As you can see, the limits are pretty generous for each threshold so this shouldn’t cause any issues for the majority of advertisers. Facebook’s vice president of product marketing, Graham Mudd, has said “a fairly small percentage” of advertisers are exceeding these limits but the network insists that ad limits will help them reduce costs and improve ad performance.

Why is Facebook limiting ads per Page?

The reason behind the Facebook ads limit is purely technical. The search giant says that once an advertiser runs too many ads, each of them is delivered less frequently and this means fewer ads exit the learning phase.

The learning phase is the period of time it takes for Facebook’s ad delivery system to figure out the best people and places to show your ads – a technology that relies on machine learning. So by running too many ads, you limit Facebook’s ability to deliver them to the most effective audience and this does two things:

  1. It limits the performance of your ads
  2. It limits the quality of Facebook’s delivery

Facebook says roughly 4 out of every 10 ads running on the network exits the learning phase, which means around 60% of ads may not be reaching the most relevant audience. At the same time, this would also mean only 40% of ads are providing Facebook’s delivery system with enough reliable data for it to learn to its full capacity.

This is bad news for Facebook and advertisers.

By limiting the number of ads running on each Page, Facebook aims to maximise the performance of its ad delivery system and, by extension, the performance of your ads.

What do I need to do about ad limits per Page?

If you’re safely within the thresholds listed in the table above, then you can pretty much carry on as normal. The most likely reason for you to be close or above any of those thresholds would be that you run a large volume of ads for testing and/or personalisation.

Even still, you would have to run a lot of ads to exceed those limits for the respective ad spend and those numbers would mean you’re not getting great or consistent performance across your campaigns.

Facebook insists it has all the tools you need to deliver personalised ads and maximise performance without exceeding its limits.

“In the past, advertisers seeking to personalize ads did so by creating a high volume of ads in hopes that the right ads would be seen by the right people. Today, many advertisers utilise Facebook’s new machine learning-driven products to personalize ads instead. These products can not only improve performance relative to high ad volume but also reduce the volume of ads that advertisers need to manage.”

Facebook Business

Facebook points towards solutions like Dynamic Formats and Ad Creative, which allow advertisers to automatically customise one ad for multiple audiences, showing the best format, copy and creative for any given impression. Or Dynamic ads that enable advertisers to integrate their entire product catalogue into a single ad and display the products that are most relevant to each individual user.

These are some of Facebook’s most advanced advertising features and they’re only going to become more effective once more ads leave the all-important learning phase.

So, if you want to deliver personalised ads without exceeding ad limits per Page, these are the features Facebook wants you to start using.

For new Pages, the Facebook ad limits come into effect on 16 February 2021. To find out when the ad limits will come into effect for existing Pages, you need to log into your Business Manager account where you’ll find a new dashboard called Ad limits per Page in the main menu – this will tell you how much time you’ve got to work with.

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