Solution: Facebook Ads "Still Pending Review"
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.