Facebook Learning Phase

Facebook learning phase is the period when Facebook Ad delivery system is learning about the best ways to optimize an ad set towards marketing objective. During this phase, Ad performance is unstable and Cost-Per-Result is (CPR) is relatively high.

The Facebook ads delivery system uses machine learning to optimize your results. Each time one of your ads is shown, the delivery system learns more about the best people to target, times of day to show the ad, and placements and creatives to use. The more an ad is shown, the better the delivery system becomes at optimizing the ad’s performance.

Why avoid learning phase

During the learning phase, a smaller share of the budget you allocate for Facebook Ads is spent in the learning phase. This typically results in a higher share of budget spent on stable performance and lower CPA. Advertisers with around 20% of spend in the learning phase (second decile) see 17% more conversions and 15% lower CPA than advertisers with around 80% of spend in the learning phase (sixth decile).

Advertisers should avoid making significant changes that prevent ad sets from coming out of the learning phase.

How to avoid learning phase

To reduce spend in the learning phase, avoid editing an ad set or ad until it has exited the learning phase. This ensures that your optimization decision is based on results that are more indicative of future performance. If you have multiple edits to make, batching them all at once ensures that learning is only reset one time.

  • Wait to edit your ad set until it’s out of the learning phase.
  • Avoid unnecessary edits that cause ad sets to re-enter the learning phase.
  • Avoid high ad volumes.
  • Use realistic budgets.

How long does the learning phase last

Facebook’s learning phase usually ends when you have generated 50 optimization events. The optimization events depend on your marketing objective. 50 optimization events for a lead ad campaign would be 50 leads. Whereas 50 events for a conversions campaign would be 50 conversions.

It’s important to note that if you’re optimizing for conversions, the 50 conversions will need to occur inside your conversion window.