Facebook’s Ad Approval Process and How it Works

Facebook's ad approval process

We get asked a lot of questions about Facebook’s Ad approval process, likely   because it seems there aren’t many reliable answers to be found. Even those experienced in running Ad campaigns sometimes face confusion when the approval process doesn’t go quite as it had in the past for them.

Some of the most frequently asked questions include how long it takes to get your ad approved, and what happens if its been “x amount of time” since submission? Is it an algorithm that approves or denies my ad, or a person? How will I know once it has been approved?

To see the answers to these, read on, my fellow Facebook marketers. Our questions are about to be answered.

How Long Does it Take To Get Your Facebook Ad Approved?

There is no exact answer for this. Sorry, I know that’s not what any of us want to hear when asking a question. But it’s true.

The most accurate answer for this question that we have is this: it depends on how busy the ad approval team is at that moment. It’s all dictated by your timing, and varies based on the time of day, the time of week, and how many ads are in line before you waiting to get approved.

The majority of submitted ads come back quickly, often within 24 hours. Most are approved within the day. Some claim to get their ads approved almost instantaneously, within ten minutes.

Weekdays and mornings seem to be among the best times to submit ads for quick approval. The Facebook team works between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm PST, so keep in mind that any ads submitted outside those hours will automatically add to your wait time, at least until the morning.

If you are still waiting on an ad to get approved and it’s been at least three days, while they could just be busy and it does sometimes take them that long, they could also have a bug in the system. At that point, deleting the ad, recreating it, and resubmitting it could be the way to go.

Who Approves the Ads?

As you may have noted from above, Facebook doesn’t have an algorithm or some sort of computer software that runs rampant on the queue of ads, approving and denying them. This is part of the reason the process can take a little while.

Actual employees, highly trained on the Ads guidelines, are the ones who go through your ads to approve them. Their entire job is to review ads, so there’s no getting anything by them.

While having employees approve ads can mean that the process can be subjective and open to human error, the chances of that happening if your ad has been rejected is unlikely. This is another question we’ve been asked.

While yes, human error does happen (nobody is perfect, we all know that), it doesn’t necessarily happen often here. The people reviewing these ads know the regulations inside and out, and reviewing ads is the entirety of their job description, not only something they do every other Tuesday and Thursday. Resubmitting a rejected ad while ignoring its corrections could potentially get it approved through someone else, but it is unlikely and not a good idea to try as you’ll likely get the same answer.

I’ve seen several sites suggest not only resubmitting an ad once, but multiple times until it gets approved. If you really believe a mistake was made, I understand resubmitting without changes just to see (though contacting Facebook for more information may be more useful). Resubmitting the same ad over and over, however, is a waste of their time and yours. Fix what they suggested needed fixing, and you’ll be good to go.

How Facebook’s Ad Approval Process Works

It’s actually a very simple, basic system. You submit your ad, it waits to be reviewed, it gets reviewed, and it is either denied or approved. Not a lot of explanation is required, but since we’ve gotten a lot of questions (and again, there’s few resources out there elaborating), here it is.

Once you submit your ad, it immediately goes into a queue of other ads waiting to be approved. This is what delays your ad from coming back to you immediately, not the actual review itself.

Those evaluating your ad simply make sure it matches up with Facebook’s ad guidelines. They aren’t trying to trip you up. It’s a simple, quick process, which is why you sometimes see ads come back almost instantaneously when you aren’t waiting.

While you’re waiting for your ad to be approved, you’ll see a “pending review” status in your ads manager. You’ll be notified the second your ad is either approved or rejected. If it has been approved, you can start running it immediately. If it hasn’t, you’ll get an explanation why not, and you can contact Facebook for more information if you are confused about the reasoning. You can then edit and resubmit your ad in hopes for approval in the next go around.

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See, I told you it was simple!

How to Make Facebook’s Ad Approval Process Go Quickly

If you’re in a hurry and want your ad to get approved as quickly as possible, there’s a few things you can do to speed up the process. Sometimes they’re just backed up and it will take a little while. Sometimes it can’t be sped up. But, sometimes there’s a few practices you can utilize to try to get your ad approved faster.

  • Make sure you’re following the guidelines. I know, it sounds redundant, but a lot of ads don’t get approved because they aren’t following Facebook’s rules for advertising with them. To see how to never get your ad rejected again, you can view our blog post here.
Facebook's ad approval process
Facebook gives examples of what is and is not allowed in their guidelines.
  • Take a look at your domain name. Domain names are sometimes marked as spam, and Facebook has a quality score. Having your domain name marked as spam can keep your ads from coming back quickly, or even from getting approved.
  • If your ad is time sensitive (for example, an ad detailing a 48 hour promotion), you can either create your ads in advance and temporarily turn off the campaign, or you can create an ad that is scheduled to start at some point in the future. You can find instructions on how to do this here. While you can’t rush their approval, you can use these options to make sure your ad runs when you want—assuming you get it approved ahead of time.
  • Test your landing page carefully. Sometimes it’s better to have your ad take users to a landing page not on Facebook. Facebook has specific guidelines about landing pages, too, and the ads that are connected to them. Having a landing page they don’t approve of won’t get your ad approved quickly or at all.
  • If your ad has a new image that isn’t immediately recognizable, it tends to take longer. When you don’t use one of the many images available to you through Facebook for your ad, it can take longer for your ad to get approved, especially if the reviewer has to spend some time figuring out what they’re looking at and how it relates to your ad.