Breaking down Meta Ads new terms of service

Author Dan Lifton 5 min read time

You’ve logged into your Meta Ads Manager and the first thing you see is a big scary banner stating “terms update coming in January” and people freaked out but honestly has anything really changed?

There have been some tweaks and changes, however, would it surprise you to know that the majority of the terms everyone was concerned with, have been in effect since June 2021? Because Meta has been more transparent to direct users to the new terms of service (something we have been asking for), it’s most likely that we, the media buyers, are actually reading these in detail for the first time.

So what do you need to really be aware of in these terms of service? I’ve broken down 4 key things you need to know.

“We cannot guarantee in every instance that your ad will reach its intended target or achieve the outcome that you select.”

In point 1, it is highlighted that your ad may not always reach its intended target. Now on the face of it, you would think why is the ad not going to the specific audience I wanted to target? However, this is something we have known Meta has been highlighting in the ad account with Advantage+ expansions for lookalikes and detailed targeting. This essentially means Facebook will look for audiences outside of what you are targeting.

But why would they do this? Simply, it is so they can learn who is most likely to purchase from you and for opportunities to scale. The amount of data running through the ads platform means machine learning is a lot smarter than us humans entering specific targeting criteria.

Should you be concerned? No, but it is something to bear in mind for your campaigns.

“You understand that, from time to time, we run tests on our Self-serve Ad Interfaces and related systems, which may affect your use and experience thereof, including campaign performance. You acknowledge and agree that we may test as notified in these Terms, including to assess formatting, relevance, pricing, reporting, targeting and delivery.”

Point 5 in the new term is definitely an interesting one. I think this is something we all suspected when we saw performance take a dip with no explanation. Whilst it is frustrating that these tests could impact your performance, there’s no need to be alarmed. The impact will be short-term in our experience and Meta has actually been adding new features and functionality to the platform that benefits us such as Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns, Attribution comparison windows, the return of breakdowns and being able to apply a headline to all carousel cards in one click.

Should you be concerned? No, as it is something that has always happened but be aware of it if you see unexplained performance drop-offs.

“You are responsible for maintaining the security of your advertising account, and you understand that you will be charged for any Orders placed on or through your advertising account.”

Now, this was the term that caught a lot of attention. This is from point 4.d. Essentially Meta is saying if you get hacked and they spend your money, you are liable for this. Now, in our experience, we have always been refunded. So this is definitely a term to cover Meta’s own liability and also to ensure users are protecting their accounts correctly.

This means ensuring you have 2FA enabled for everyone who has access to your Business Manager and using best practices such as inviting partners through Business Manager as opposed to adding their emails directly.

Should you be concerned? Yes, but this has been in effect since June 2021. Make sure your accounts are as secure as they can be and if you are hacked, contact Meta as soon as possible.

“You can cancel an Order at any time, but your ads may run for 24 hours after you notify us, and you are still responsible for paying for all ads that run.”

Have you ever seen an ad or had a client mention that an ad is still running that you are sure you have turned off? Point 4.f highlights that even if you switch an ad off, as it is in the auction it can possibly still run for up to 24 hours after.

Again this occurrence is rare in our experience, but Meta is making us aware of it and being open about it.

Should you be concerned? No, not worth worrying about something you have no control over.

Overall the majority of these terms have actually been in existence for over 18 months now. And what I don’t mind about these terms is that Meta is being transparent and upfront. You might not agree with everything, but we’ve been crying out for this transparency for a while now. And remember, simply by using the platform from 3rd January, you are consenting to these terms.

We talk more about Meta Term’s and Condition on the Marketing Freaks Podcast. Listen here.


Dan has been working in Paid Media for 5+ years, and has extensive experience in managing strategies and campaigns both in-house and agency side, meaning he knows the best of both worlds.