Getting Ad Insights from Facebook — and avoiding error 17

Sam Kenny
Sam Kenny’s a(musing)
1 min readJan 14, 2016


At untapt measuring the success of our marketing campaigns across social media is important — to us and our clients. If we are going to put dollars into a campaign to find the best tech talent around the world, we need to know which social media platforms are performing best.

I’ve struggled with the Facebook API so I thought I would do a quick recap of the solution I implemented in Python. In doing so, I had to make sure that the number of API calls was limited so avoid Error 17 — user request limit reached.

The most important discovery in the code below was that insights can be retrieved for the account, but to see them aggregated at the ad level you simply need to pass the ‘level’ parameter.

from facebookads.api import FacebookAdsApi
from facebookads.objects import AdAccount, AdCreative, AdPreview, AdCreativePreview, Ad, Insights
def get_facebook_insights():
account = AdAccount(FB_ACCT_ID)
start ='%Y-%m-%d')
end ='%Y-%m-%d')
fields = [
params = {
'time_range': {'since': start, 'until': end},
'level': 'ad',
'limit': 1000
insights = account.get_insights(fields=fields, params=params)
for i in insights:
people_reached = int(i['reach'])
impressions = int(i['impressions'])
spend = float(i['spend'])
Shout out to,fb-ads-api-17-user-request-limit-reached for pointing me in the right direction and also to this Stackoverflow response which was essential in helping me converting the access token I retrieved from the Facebook Graph Explorer to a long lived access token.



Sam Kenny
Sam Kenny’s a(musing)