Meta FinTech

Unblocking millions in ad spend


Business owners rely on Meta's ad platform to gain exposure to potential clients. In order to help business owners manage their advertisements, Meta offers an important feature: Account Spending Limits (ASL). ASL acts as a limit on all ad campaigns. Want to set a $5,000.00 limit? Your ads will stop running once you hit that amount of spend. It's helpful for businesses trying to stay within an allocated budget. When Underbelly was brought on, the feature was bare bones, with much to be desired from advertisers. Research showed that ASL was a barrier of satisfaction for 9% of larger advertisers on Metas Ad Manager. Underbelly had the challenge of adding functionality to ASL, including a long-requested auto-reset feature. We had the privilege of working alongside Meta's FinTech team to accomplish these goals.

In Person Kickoff

We started the project with a discovery and knowledge transfer session at Meta’s office in Seattle. Although Meta had a good idea of what they wanted to add to ASL, we looked at it from a fresh perspective to develop ideas that could be implemented in phase two. 

Auto Resets

The stand-out feature we wanted to add was auto resets. Before, advertisers would have to keep track of their ASL and reset it manually to prevent their ads from being paused indefinitely. If their ads were paused and they didn't realize it, leads would shrink, and it would cause panic for the advertiser. We called the money blocked without the advertiser being aware unintentional blocked spend. Allowing advertisers to have their ASL reset automatically would create a much more useful and hands-off tool, prevent confusion when ads are blocked, and free up a projected $20-30M in gross revenue. 

We now knew we wanted to give advertisers the ability to reset their limit automatically, but we needed to determine the frequency we would allow. After talking with engineering, we decided we would only have one reset timeframe available for MVP to fit our timeline. Next, we needed to determine what the time frame would be. We worked with data science to pull numbers for how many times a month advertisers reset their ASL and on which day. The data showed a clear preference for resetting once a month on the first. 

First Month

After diving into designs and flushing out the user flows, we quickly realized a common use case that would complicate a monthly ASL. If a user sets a $5,000 limit, all their ad spend will count towards that limit until it resets at the end of the month. This works if a user creates the limit on the first of the month, but what if they create it on the 15th? Or what about the 25th? The intention is that the limit would be for one whole month, but would that $5,000 limit still be useful if it’s only covering half the month? 

We brainstormed many ideas and worked cross-collaboratively with everyone on the team - designers, engineers, PMs, and content designers - to craft a solution that would be helpful to the user. Since money is a personal subject, we wanted the advertiser to have the choice over how their limit would be implemented in the first month.

The solution was to give advertisers the option to prorate their limit in the first month. If they chose not to, their full limit would apply to the remaining days in the month, which is perfect if the user created the limit at the beginning of the month. If they choose to prorate, they can set a new limit for the remainder of that month. This can be whatever they want, but we autofill a suggestion of the mathematical prorated amount - (The limit / 30) * days remaining in the month.

Future Proof

Sticking around for just long enough to see a product through engineering is just a way of life for augmented work. Since we become the experts on a feature during our short stint, we like leaving ideas behind as a jumping-off point for the designers tasked with phase two. With Meta, we had time to explore several additional features that would help advertisers have even more control of their money, including adding a weekly schedule, the ability to pause ASL, dedicated limits to holiday ad spend, and a simpler version of the monthly prorate. 


Zach Thesier
Product Designer
Facebook Local Team
Internal Team

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