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Illustration: In-Product Brand for Business Team, Facebook, Inc.

Designing for Meaningful Connections: Humanizing the Ads Industry

Yanling Wang
May 1, 2019 · 4 min read

Before joining Facebook in 2014, I was anti-advertising. I thought ads were annoying, spammy, and trying to make me buy things I didn’t need. During my first two weeks at Facebook, I was given a list of 10 teams across the company to choose from.

My first reaction was: I am not going to talk to those three teams in Ads.

Yet, after having 21 one-on-ones with all 10 teams, I decided to join Ads. And I have made a deliberate decision to stay with Ads for going on five years.

The mission for Ads is to make meaningful connections between people and businesses. The mission for my area, Ads Delivery, is to make every (Ads) impression meaningful.

This isn’t just something we talk about, it’s something we live every day.

I believe in our mission and am passionate about building great products for ads. To understand why, meet my 6-year-old son Yi, who has autism.

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Photo: Yanling Wang

Yi and the FRC

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Photo: FRC Facebook Page

A few months later, I did the same thing for Autism JumpStart, after which they were able to connect with 200+ more families through their page on Facebook.

I know how significant each connection made between a struggling family and those nonprofits is. I was thrilled to see that with Facebook Ads, these organizations that I care deeply about were able to grow.

That is what I call a meaningful connection.

That is what I call a meaningful impression.

Yu And Dan, Small Business Owners

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Photo: GPCA Facebook Page

I am not naive, I know that Facebook ads don’t always work. For example, I haven’t had much success promoting a couple of Bay Area bands. I met one band, in particular, when they were performing at local farmers market (yup, I just walked up to total strangers and offered to help with Facebook ads!).

I haven’t had much success helping a painter friend either. But as with FRC and GPCA — and many other similar stories — Facebook ads have been making meaningful differences. We create job opportunities, we help businesses grow, and we make connections between businesses and the people they serve.

The way I see it, the better we do our jobs, the better this platform gets, and the more we can help make lives better and easier for the people that we care about.

Zuck had a famous line:

“We don’t build products to make money, we make money to build great products.”

I agree with him wholeheartedly and I believe in our mission wholeheartedly.

Can I count on you to join me on this journey? What’s your story? What gives you energy at work when facing challenges? What helps you keep marching forward when the problems are so big, so complex, and so ambiguous?

Facebook Design: Business Tools

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