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Facebook Announces New Support Initiatives for SMBs to Help Them Manage Through the …

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With small businesses still struggling to cope with the compounding impacts of the pandemic, Facebook has announced two new initiatives to provide support for SMBs, and help them better manage their cash flow in their time of need.

First off, Facebook’s launching an expansion of its Invoice Fast Track program, which enables SMBs to apply for Facebook to buy up their outstanding invoices, providing immediate cash flow benefits.

Facebook Invoice Fast Track program overview

As explained by Facebook:

“For a low, fixed fee, eligible businesses can get cash immediately for the goods and services they’ve invoiced their customers for but would otherwise have to wait months to get paid – time and capital they can now use to invest in the recovery and growth of their companies. We will fund up to $100 million in invoices on an ongoing basis and are operating the program in partnership with Supplier Success and Crowdz.

Through the program, eligible businesses can submit their invoices to Facebook, which Facebook will then pay immediately. Facebook then notifies the relevant customers that they’ll pay the Facebook Invoice Fast Track program when the invoices reach term – so essentially, Facebook becomes a debt collector of sorts on the business’s behalf, while the business doesn’t have to wait around for the cash.

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Facebook first launched the program with diverse suppliers last year, but from October 1st, more US-based small businesses will have the opportunity to apply.

Businesses can find more information on the program at the dedicated Invoice Fast Track mini-site.

In addition to this, Facebook’s also launching a new in-app application process for grant and loan opportunities, making it easier for SMBs to access resources and information.

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Facebook grant program

As you can see here, the new resource showcase will highlight grant opportunities and business education programs, as well as SMB groups that can help provide guidance and support.

Facebook’s partnering with a range of ‘mission-driven’ organizations for the initiative, which are focused on providing resources to owners from underserved communities, in order to ensure that such opportunities are reaching those most in need.

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Business Page Admins will be able to access this new experience on Facebook by clicking on Business Resources and Small Business Funding.

As per Facebook’s latest State of Small Business report, more than 60% of small businesses are facing some form of difficulty in paying business-related expenses, as the COVID crisis drags on, and while the end is now seemingly in view, it’ll still be too far off for many to remain in operation at the current impact rates.

Which makes sense – many SMBs are operating month-to-month, with their intake and expenses in fairly close alignment, so even short-term closures or business restrictions can have a big impact. And when you also consider that the vast majority of businesses are SMBs, that also points to the broader economic impacts, which will flow through to all organizations eventually, and cause revenue impacts for some time, even in the post-COVID environment.

Which is why funding and support initiatives like this are important, and it’s good to see Facebook looking to invest in this critical element, and provide assistance for smaller providers as they work to manage the ongoing impacts.

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Updating Special Ad Audiences for housing, employment, and credit advertisers

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On June 21, 2022 we announced an important settlement with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will change the way we deliver housing ads to people residing in the US. Specifically, we are building into our ads system a method designed to make sure the audience that ends up seeing a housing ad more closely reflects the eligible targeted audience for that ad.

As part of this agreement, we will also be sunsetting Special Ad Audiences, a tool that lets advertisers expand their audiences for ad sets related to housing. We are choosing to sunset this for employment and credit ads as well. In 2019, in addition to eliminating certain targeting options for housing, employment and credit ads, we introduced Special Ad Audiences as an alternative to Lookalike Audiences. But the field of fairness in machine learning is a dynamic and evolving one, and Special Ad Audiences was an early way to address concerns. Now, our focus will move to new approaches to improve fairness, including the method previously announced.

What’s happening: We’re removing the ability to create Special Ad Audiences via Ads Manager beginning on August 25, 2022.

Beginning October 12th, 2022, we will pause any remaining ad sets that contain Special Ad Audiences. These ad sets may be restarted once advertisers have removed any and all Special Ad Audiences from those ad sets. We are providing a two month window between preventing new Special Ad Audiences and pausing existing Special Ad Audiences to enable advertisers the time to adjust budgets and strategies as needed.

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For more details, please visit our Newsroom post.

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Impact to Advertisers using Marketing API on September 13, 2022

For advertisers and partners using the API listed below, the blocking of new Special Ad Audience creation will present a breaking change on all versions. Beginning August 15, 2022, developers can start to implement the code changes, and will have until September 13, 2022, when the non-versioning change occurs and prior values are deprecated. Refer below to the list of impacted endpoints related to this deprecation:

For reading audience:

  • endpoint gr:get:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field operation_status

For adset creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/adsets
  • field subtype

For adset editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdCampaign
  • field subtype

For custom audience creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field subtype

For custom audience editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:CustomAudience

Please refer to the developer documentation for further details to support code implementation.

First seen at developers.facebook.com

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Introducing an Update to the Data Protection Assessment

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Over the coming year, some apps with access to certain types of user data on our platforms will be required to complete the annual Data Protection Assessment. We have made a number of improvements to this process since our launch last year, when we introduced our first iteration of the assessment.

The updated Data Protection Assessment will include a new developer experience that is enhanced through streamlined communications, direct support, and clear status updates. Today, we’re sharing what you can expect from these new updates and how you can best prepare for completing this important privacy requirement if your app is within scope.

If your app is in scope for the Data Protection Assessment, and you’re an app admin, you’ll receive an email and a message in your app’s Alert Inbox when it’s time to complete the annual assessment. You and your team of experts will then have 60 calendar days to complete the assessment. We’ve built a new platform that enhances the user experience of completing the Data Protection Assessment. These updates to the platform are based on learnings over the past year from our partnership with the developer community. When completing the assessment, you can expect:

  • Streamlined communication: All communications and required actions will be through the My Apps page. You’ll be notified of pending communications requiring your response via your Alerts Inbox, email, and notifications in the My Apps page.

    Note: Other programs may still communicate with you through the App Contact Email.

  • Available support: Ability to engage with Meta teams via the Support tool to seek clarification on the questions within the Data Protection Assessment prior to submission and help with any requests for more info, or to resolve violations.

    Note: To access this feature, you will need to add the app and app admins to your Business Manager. Please refer to those links for step-by-step guides.

  • Clear status updates: Easy to understand status and timeline indicators throughout the process in the App Dashboard, App Settings, and My Apps page.
  • Straightforward reviewer follow-ups: Streamlined experience for any follow-ups from our reviewers, all via developers.facebook.com.

We’ve included a brief video that provides a walkthrough of the experience you’ll have with the Data Protection Assessment:

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The Data Protection Assessment elevates the importance of data security and helps gain the trust of the billions of people who use our products and services around the world. That’s why we are committed to providing a seamless experience for our partners as you complete this important privacy requirement.

Here is what you can do now to prepare for the assessment:

  1. Make sure you are reachable: Update your developer or business account contact email and notification settings.
  2. Review the questions in the Data Protection Assessment and engage with your teams on how best to answer these questions. You may have to enlist the help of your legal and information security points of contact to answer some parts of the assessment.
  3. Review Meta Platform Terms and our Developer Policies.

We know that when people choose to share their data, we’re able to work with the developer community to safely deliver rich and relevant experiences that create value for people and businesses. It’s a privilege we share when people grant us access to their data, and it’s imperative that we protect that data in order to maintain and build upon their trust. This is why the Data Protection Assessment focuses on data use, data sharing and data security.

Data privacy is challenging and complex, and we’re dedicated to continuously improving the processes to safeguard user privacy on our platform. Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to build a safer, more sustainable platform.

First seen at developers.facebook.com

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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