Melanie is a tech YouTuber who loves social media and is an expert on internet culture. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.
Why Is My Facebook Ad Pending Review?
After creating an advertisement through Facebook, you may notice that it doesn't go live right away. In fact, it seems to be "pending" for quite a while. When I created my first Facebook ad, I found it a little frustrating to have to wait so long. I mean, I'm giving them my money, right?
I learned that there are some fairly compelling reasons why new ads sit in the pending pile. The biggest reason: Facebook manually reviews every single new ad campaign. With a large number of advertisers flocking to Facebook, your ad can sit in the queue for a while.
How Long Will the Review Process Take?
According to Facebook, if you create your ad during their business hours, it can take up to 12 hours for your ad to be reviewed.
Once you've created your ad, it will be queued. So even if you create your ad during business hours, the reviewers still have to get through all the ads before yours.
So what if you've scheduled your ad to begin immediately? If this is the case, unfortunately, you will still have to wait for your ad to go through the review process. Of course, once it's reviewed, the ad will go live immediately.
Facebook Ad Guidelines
If your Facebook ad is declined, you will have to edit it and go through the review process all over again. This can be a huge pain, so it's a good idea to have a good handle on the ad requirements before submitting an ad. Facebook does not allow ads that
- Receive excessive negative feedback
- Contain information user data that has been collected from Facebook
- Aren't appropriate to the product advertised
- Use scare tactics or are overly sexual
- Ads that make use Facebook's intellectual property (don't use Facebook branding or mimic site features, etc)
- Ask or use certain user characteristics such as implying race, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc.
- Lead to an error page
- Lead to sites deemed abusive by WebofTrust
- Advertise alcohol to underage users
The above is a list of common reasons why an ad may be rejected. You can find out the full list of ad guidelines on their guidelines page.
Tips & Tricks for Timing
If you need your ad to start right away, you're most likely out of luck. But, fortunately, there are other ways to get an ad running when you need it to:
- Plan your ad ahead of time - You can schedule your ad to run for a future date. The Facebook team will review it when it pops up in their queue, so it will be all ready when you need it.
- Create and pause your ad - Create your ad now, pause it, and let it go through the review queue. Once it passes through review, you can run it when it's a good time for you.
- Consider using a different ad network - If you need your ad to run pronto, right now, ASAP, you might be better off with another advertiser. There are tons of companies out there who are willing to take your money right now. Facebook will be there in the future when you have more time to plan ahead.
Review Times on a Post Boost
In my experience, post boosting doesn't take nearly as long as the approval of an ad. I've had a boost approved in a matter of minutes, but at times it can extend as long as an hour.
The problem with the approval process on boosts is that it seems that mods can be "deny" happy. Facebook has strict rules on what's allowed and what's not.
For example, links to dating websites are strictly prohibited. I linked to an article about a fun dating game that was popular for tweens in the 90s. Their system detected the word "dating" and automatically denied the advert. Because of this, I had to send in a note to Facebook staff and the approval time went up considerably while they hand-reviewed the ad.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: Is it normal to wait 2 days and still hear nothing from Facebook regarding Facebook Ads?
Answer: Yes, due to volume sometimes it can take longer than normal. If the issue persists, send a ticket to Facebook.
Question: If it takes more than a day for an ad to be accepted is it still charged for that time or does it carry through and get taken down at a later date?
Answer: Your ad time is not counted until your ad is accepted.
© 2012 Melanie Shebel
Jesse on August 09, 2019:
I've been waiting three days as well, to REBOOST an ad that had already been approved!
Perry Lunsford on July 30, 2019:
I'm at 3 days waiting so far, on an ad I've been running for almost a year... I changed my budget and went into the review process again.
Crazy thing is, I started 24 hours early just to make sure I was good, but now I can't do business this week...
Totally understand that Facebook doesn't care about the advertiser!
But this is getting expensive for our family business
Reg on December 14, 2012:
arggh excrutiatingly long ... 14 hours waiting so far!!
the other thing is ... what if i put in a bid of say .10c a click when the suggested range of bidding is $1.20-$3.99 say
im just there just like adsense that if theres no advertisers and theres not many in my category that the advert will run.
Logical? or you have to bid at the suggested click cost
Kevin J Timothy from Tampa Bay, FL on September 10, 2012:
Well, thanks so much for this tip. I have to admit that the ad network can be very powerful. At least this waiting period indicates that your ad won't be one among millions of those of poor quality. The nature of the Facebook beast, I guess.
Ruchira from United States on August 21, 2012:
seriously, i was not aware that people make ads and facebook scrutinizes them.
thanks for the update, melanie! good pointers indeed.
Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on August 17, 2012:
I didn't realize that people could make ads for Facebook. Very interesting.. Now I am going to go pay a little bit closer attention to see if I can see them! I guess sometimes you just get so used to seeing them that you feel blinded by it!
Barbara Badder from USA on August 17, 2012:
The information is good to know. It won't leave people wondering why they are waiting. Thanks.