An Ad Archive API is being launched by Facebook for US researchers and publishers that will allow them to analyze political and issue-based ads that run on the platform.

This Ad Archive API was announced in May  and is now being rolled out to a limited group of US publishers, academics and researchers before Facebook opens it up to  broader audience, according to Facebook’s announcement.

“The API offers ad creative, start and end date, and performance data, including total spend and impressions for ads. It also shows demographics of people reached, including age, gender and location,” writes Facebook Director of Product Management Rob Leathern.

According to the social media company, the feed back that is received from this initial rollout will help inform the buildout of the Archive report scheduled for release in September.

This new API is an offshoot of the searchable archive of political and issue ads on Facebook that was released in May.  During this time, Facebook had been working with news orgaizations and its Election Commission — the independent group it put together to determine the impact of social media on elections — to launch the API.

“We’re greatly encouraged by trends and insights that watchdog groups, publishers and academics have unearthed since the archive launched in May,” writes Leathern. “We believe this deeper analysis will increase accountability for both Facebook and advertisers.”

A registration link was shared by Facebook for users to apply for access to the API when it has a broader rollout –  Facebook Ad Archive API.

This is Facebook’s effort to fight misinformation and safeguard its platform from bad actors who want to distribute malicious content in order to influence elections.

There is a number of efforts that Facebook has made to be more transparent about its process to monitor content and protect user data. Not only that, they are aiming to refining the amount of information available to API developers, Facebook released its first-ever transparency report in May, updated policies around political ads and continues to let the public know when it has removed malicious accounts.

Source –