What is the Facebook Special Ad Category?

Table of Contents

Facebook recently announced that all ads related to housing, credit, and employment require a different set of targeting from normal ads. This means that all advertisers or businesses buying ads on Facebook must adhere to the new advertising policies. The special ad category is intended for advertisers who are targeting U.S. based audiences for their housing, bank credit/loans, and employment ads.

Why did Facebook Launch the Special Category Ad? 

Facebook launched this to prevent discrimination inside the platform. Facebook prohibits any unlawful or discriminatory advertisements that exclude or harms a specific group of audience. 

A detailed and updated non-discriminatory policy can be read in their FAQ. 

What’s the Difference Between Normal Ads and Special Ads?

In a normal Facebook ad, advertisers can customize their targeting, such as: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Zip Code
  • Look-alike audiences 
  • Characteristics of a specific type of audience

These options are not applicable to the special ad category. In fact, the image below shows the in-depth view of what options are unavailable when buying ads under special category: 

Advertisers have to select Special Ads Category if they want to advertise their housing, credit, or employment ads on Facebook. Failure to follow the guidelines will get the ads disapproved. 

Instead, advertisers can create the “special ad audience” which is based on similarities according to audience behavior considering factors like age, gender, or ZIP code.

The table below shows general do’s and don’ts of ad targeting for Special Ad Category. 


Presentation-wise, the special ad category looks the same as any normal Facebook ads. Check the few examples below: 

Employment Ads

Credit Ads

Housing Ad

This ad update gives Facebook users within the US the opportunity to view ads tailored according to their recent interests. Not only does it broaden the coverage of the ads but it gives the users more opportunities to apply for a job, loan, or buy a property through Facebook. 

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