Facebook has blocked new ads for dating sites until after Valentine’s Day, reports Business Insider. Because while we may still be stuck with sidebars hawking Cute Coats Under $20 (are they, though?), children’s birthday party planners (oh god), hand-knit dog sweaters (yes, fine), and “industrial-rustic” kitchen tables (…?), it seems that even Facebook has decided that the booming number of dating ads is too much for the average user to bear. For the vast majority of Facebook users, that’s great news: there is a limit to how many times a day one can be reminded that V-Day is coming up and do you have a date yet????
For dating-oriented advertisers, though Facebook’s new anti-romance policy is significantly less great — especially for smaller sites, who claim they’re hit harder by the ban. In an exchange with “frustrated ad client” Kyle McGinnis, CEO of foodie/sexist dating site HiDine (“The dating site for food lovers where women are taken out to their favorite restaurants”), Facebook explained that they’d bumped his ads because their new policy requires “human review” for online dating ads without “prior authorization from Facebook.” Which is a little bit confusing, because, as I can personally confirm, HiDine had been successfully running ads for months. But those ads aren’t up to Facebook’s new standard, says Business Insider, explaining that for the moment Facebook will “only accept ads from dating sites that come through Facebook’s ad sales team, and not through campaigns bought via Facebook’s automated plug-and-play Ads API system.”
So, bad news if you’re a small dating site banking on the automated ads system for a holiday boost. Good news, though, if you are literally anyone else. I, for one, prefer my pre-Valentine’s Facebooking to be rustic-industrial-table focused anyway.