Dear Zuck,

You’re a developer. I’m a developer. And I thought Facebook was a developer-friendly company to work with — after all, you’re trying to recruit tens of thousands of engineers to work at Meta.

But our experience trying to integrate with Facebook Ads makes me really doubt that. It’s been frustrating. At times, eyeball-gougingly frustrating.

Littledata runs a popular data integration, allowing hundreds of ecommerce brands spending a LOT of money on Facebook Ads to export their cost and click data to better calculate return on advertising spend. Until October this Facebook app was running just fine, and our mutual customers were happy social marketers.

The trouble started when Facebook needed to verify our business manager account earlier this year. We’ve heard that Facebook needs to know their business customers better — some of those Russians spending big on election Ads were not quite who they said they were.

We understand.

Littledata is trusted by thousands of Shopify stores around the world, so we’d be happy to show Facebook our company paperwork. The problem is the app in question is linked to a legacy business manager account with no admin user. Hands up, that was my fault — as someone who’s led a hyper-growth startup I hope you’ll see why sorting out a duplicate Facebook account never got prioritised.

So, we never got the memo back in February 2021 that the business manager account was unverified and suspended. No Facebook message, email, push notification or carrier pigeon. Nada.

This time bomb carried on ticking until 5th October when we needed to add back app permissions after an update to Facebook’s marketing API. But we were not able to do so without — you guessed it — a verified business manager account.

On 5th October you probably had bigger fish to fry with Facebook’s network meltdown, but I hope a coder like you couldn’t fail to spot the classic infinite loop:

  1. Littledata can’t verify the Facebook business manager account, because there is no admin user with access to that business
  2. Facebook can’t add an admin to an unverified business when it's been inactive for more than 60 days
  3. We can’t move the app to another Facebook business, as there is no admin user with accesss

Since October, I’ve been in contact with Facebook business support nearly every day because our Facebook advertiser customers are complaining every day. And over 8 weeks — EIGHT WEEKS — I have felt like I’m head-butting a concrete wall.

Since this scenario isn’t one that was imagined by the business verifications team, it apparently just can’t be fixed. Maybe this is how those data centre managers felt on 5th October, locked out of their own building because Facebook’s authentication systems were offline?

So now our app can’t be used.

So advertisers spending tens of millions with Facebook Ads are upset too.

I’m just a developer wanting to work with Facebook. Can you or anyone else get us out of this verification Meta-hole?

Best regards,

Edward

Founder, Littledata

P.S. If you can take a short break from the metaverse, it's support ticket 622162645450139