An SDK built to facilitate application development for Facebook Ads API.
Latest commit 83a3317 Dec 24, 2016 @xiaotchen xiaotchen committed on GitHub Merge pull request #264 from prateeksan/issue-263
Issue 263 (Optionally Initialize FacebookSession With Proxies)

Marketing API SDK for Python

Build Status

The Ads SDK for Python provides an easy interface and abstraction to the Marketing API.

Python is currently the most popular language for our third party ads developers. facebookads is a Python package that provides an interface between your Python application and Facebook's Marketing API. This tutorial covers the basics knowledge needed to use the SDK and provide some exercises for the reader.

NOTE: facebookads package is compatible with Python 2 and 3!


An App

To get started with the SDK you must have a Facebook app registered on

IMPORTANT: Enable all migrations in the App's Settings->Migrations page.

IMPORTANT: For extra security, the SDK requires that you turn on 'App Secret Proof for Server API calls' in your app's Settings->Advanced page.

Your app should now be able to use the Marketing API!

An Access Token

You need to generate a user access token for your app and ask for the ads_management permission. It is expected that an app in production will build its own infrastructure to interact with a user to generate an access token and choose an account to manage. Learn more about access tokens here.

For now, we can use the Graph Explorer to get an access token.

Install package

The easiest way to install the SDK is via pip in your shell.

NOTE: For Python 3, use pip3 and python3 instead.

NOTE: Use sudo if any of these complain about permissions. (This might happen if you are using a system installed Python.)

If you don't have pip:

easy_install pip

Now execute when you have pip:

pip install facebookads

If you care for the latest version instead of a possibly outdated version in the repository, check out the repository from GitHub or download a release tarball. Once you've got the package downloaded and unzipped, install it:

python install

Great, now you are ready to use the SDK!


The rest of the example code given will assume you have bootstrapped the api into your program like the following sample app:

from facebookads.api import FacebookAdsApi
from facebookads import objects

my_app_id = '<APP_ID>'
my_app_secret = '<APP_SECRET>'
my_access_token = '<ACCESS_TOKEN>'
proxies = {'http': '<HTTP_PROXY>', 'https': '<HTTPS_PROXY>'} # add proxies if needed
FacebookAdsApi.init(my_app_id, my_app_secret, my_access_token, proxies)

NOTE: We shall use the objects module throughout the rest of the tutorial. You can also use the individual class files under adobjects directly.

SDK Structure

The SDK contains the object module which has classes for every adobject. You will notice that these classes are essentially extending individual class from adobjects folder. We encourage you to use these files directly.We maintain the objects module for compatibility and this will be removed starting 2.7.

Understanding CRUD

The SDK implements a CRUD (create, read, update, delete) design. Objects relevant to exploring the graph are located in the objects module of the facebookads package.

All objects on the graph are instances of AbstractObject. Some objects can be directly queried and thus are instances of AbstractCrudObject (a subclass of AbstractObject). Both these abstract classes are located in facebookads.adobjects.

AbstractCrudObject can have all or some of the following methods:

  • remote_create
  • remote_read
  • remote_update
  • remote_delete

In the newest version of the SDK, you will notice an additional folder adobjects under facebookads. Under this you will see a file for every ad object in our Marketing API. These files are autogenerated from our API and therefore are close in parity with what API has to offer. Based on what CRUD operations can be performed on each object, you will see the presensce of the following methods in them:

  • api_create
  • api_get
  • api_update
  • api_delete

The above methods have a one to one correspondence with the remote methods.

For example, Campaign has all these methods but AdAccount does not. Read the Marketing API documentation for more information about how different ad objects are used.

You can choose to continue to use the remote_* methods or the new methods. We offer both so as to aviod breaking existing codes.

Exploring the Graph

The way the SDK abstracts the API is by defining classes that represent objects on the graph. These class definitions and their helpers are located in facebookads.objects.

Initializing Objects

Look at AbstractObject's and AbstractCrudObject's __init__ method for more information. Most objects on the graph subclass from one of the two.

When instantiating an ad object, you can specify its id if it already exists by defining fbid argument. You can specify an object's parent id as well by defining the parent_id argument. Lastly, if you want to interact with the API using a specific api object instead of the default, you can specify the api argument.


Look at the methods of an object to see what associations over which we can iterate. For example an AdUser object has a method get_ad_accounts which returns an iterator of AdAccount objects.

Ad Account

Most ad-related operations are in the context of an ad account. You can go to Ads Manager to see accounts for which you have permission. Most of you probably have a personal account.

Let's get all the ad accounts for the user with the given access token. I only have one account so the following is printed:

>>> me = objects.AdUser(fbid='me')
>>> my_accounts = list(me.get_ad_accounts())
>>> print(my_accounts)
[{   'account_id': u'17842443', 'id': u'act_17842443'}]
>>> type(my_accounts[0])
<class 'facebookads.objects.AdAccount'>

WARNING: We do not specify a keyword argument api=api when instantiating the AdUser object here because we've already set the default api when bootstrapping.

NOTE: We wrap the return value of get_ad_accounts with list() because get_ad_accounts returns an EdgeIterator object (located in facebookads.objects) and we want to get the full list right away instead of having the iterator lazily loading accounts.

For our purposes, we can just pick an account and do our experiments in its context:

>>> my_account = my_accounts[0]

Or if you already know your account id:

>>> my_account = objects.AdAccount('act_17842443')


Let's create a campaign. It's in the context of the account, i.e. its parent should be the account.

campaign = objects.Campaign(parent_id = my_account.get_id_assured())

Then we specify some details about the campaign. To figure out what properties to define, you should look at the available fields of the object (located in Campaign.Field) and also look at the ad object's documentation (e.g. Campaign).

NOTE: To find out the fields, look at the individual class file under adobjects directory.

campaign[] = "Potato Campain" # sic
campaign[objects.Campaign.Field.configured_status] = objects.Campaign.Status.paused

Finally, we make the create request by calling the remote_create method.


If there's an error, an exception will be raised. Possible exceptions and their descriptions are listed in facebookads.exceptions.


We can also read properties of an object from the api assuming that the object is already created and has a node path. Accessing properties of an object is simple since AbstractObject implements the collections.MutableMapping. You can access them just like accessing a key of a dictionary:

>>> print(my_account)
{'account_id': u'17842443', 'id': u'act_17842443'}
>>> my_account.remote_read(fields=[objects.AdAccount.Field.amount_spent])
>>> print(my_account[objects.AdAccount.Field.amount_spent])
{'amount_spent': 21167, 'account_id': u'17842443', 'id': u'act_17842443'}


To update an object, we can modify its properties and then call the remote_update method to sync the object with the server. Let's correct the typo "Campain" to "Campaign":

>>> campaign[] = "Potato Campaign"
>>> campaign.remote_update()

You can see the results in ads manager.


If we decide we don't want the campaign we created anymore:


Useful Arguments


Throughout the docs, the method FacebookAdsApi.init is called before making any API calls. This method set up a default FacebookAdsApi object to be used everywhere. That simplifies the usage but it's not feasible when a system using the SDK will make calls on behalf of multiple users.

The reason why this is not feasible is because each user should have its own FacebookSession, with its own access token, rather than using the same session for every one. Each session should be used to create a separate FacebookAdsApi object. See example below:

my_app_id = '<APP_ID>'
my_app_secret = '<APP_SECRET>'
my_access_token_1 = '<ACCESS_TOKEN_1>'
my_access_token_2 = '<ACCESS_TOKEN_2>'
proxies = {'http': '<HTTP_PROXY>', 'https': '<HTTPS_PROXY>'} # add proxies if needed

session1 = FacebookSession(

session2 = FacebookSession(

api1 = FacebookAdsApi(session1)
api2 = FacebookAdsApi(session2)

In the SDK examples, we always set a single FacebookAdsApi object as the default one. However, working with multiples access_tokens, require us to use multiples apis. We may set a default api for a user, but, for the other users, we shall use its the api object as a param. In the example below, we create two AdUsers, the first one using the default api and the second one using its api object:


me1 = AdUser(fbid='me')
me2 = AdUser(fbid='me', api=api2)

Another way to create the same objects from above would be:

me1 = AdUser(fbid='me', api=api1)
me2 = AdUser(fbid='me', api=api2)

From here, all the following workflow for these objects remains the same. The only exceptions are the classmethods calls, where we now should pass the api we want to use as the last parameter on every call. For instance, a call to the Aduser.get_by_ids method should be like this:

session = FacebookSession(

api = FacebookAdsApi(session1)
Aduser.get_by_ids(ids=['<UID_1>', '<UID_2>'], api=api)


All CRUD calls support a params keyword argument which takes a dictionary mapping parameter names to values in case advanced modification is required. You can find the list of parameter names as attributes of {your object class}.Field. Under the Field class there may be other classes which contain, as attributes, valid fields of the value of one of the parent properties.

remote_create and remote_update support a files keyword argument which takes a dictionary mapping file reference names to binary opened file objects.

remote_read supports a fields keyword argument which is a convenient way of specifying the 'fields' parameter. fields takes a list of fields which should be read during the call. The valid fields can be found as attributes of the class Field.


When initializing an EdgeIterator or when calling a method such as AdAccount.get_ad_campaigns:

  • You can specify a fields argument which takes a list of fields to read for the objects being read.
  • You can specify a params argument that can help you specify or filter the edge more precisely.

Batch Calling

It is efficient to group together large numbers of calls into one http request. The SDK makes this process simple. You can group together calls into an instance of FacebookAdsApiBatch (available in facebookads.api). To easily get one for your api instance:

my_api_batch = api.new_batch()

Calls can be added to the batch instead of being executed immediately:


Once you're finished adding calls to the batch, you can send off the request:


Please follow batch call guidelines in the Marketing API documentation. There are optimal numbers of calls per batch. In addition, you may need to watch out that for rate limiting as a batch call simply improves network performance and each call does count individually towards rate limiting.


See facebookads.exceptions for a list of exceptions which may be thrown by the SDK.


Unit tests

The unit tests don't require an access token or network access. Run them with your default installed Python as follows:

python -m facebookads.test.unit

You can also use tox to run the unit tests with multiple Python versions:

sudo apt-get install python-tox  # Debian/Ubuntu
sudo yum install python-tox      # Fedora
tox --skip-missing-interpreters

You can increase interpreter coverage by installing additional versions of Python. On Ubuntu you can use the deadsnakes PPA. On other distributions you can build from source and then use sudo make altinstall to avoid conflicts with your system-installed version.

Integration tests

The integration tests require an access token with ads_management scope. You can obtain a short-lived token from the Graph API Explorer. These tests access the live Facebook API but shouldn't actually launch an ad or spend any money.

Copy the config.json.example to config.json and fill in the appropriate details.

python -m facebookads.test.integration <ACCESS_TOKEN>
# Access token not required if it's defined in config.json


Examples of usage are located in the examples/ folder.