Following the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal in March 2018, Facebook announced that it would be disabling a form of advertising targeting called Partner Categories, which allowed prominent third-party data aggregators to provide clients with offline data, such as purchasing activity to inform ad targeting. While Facebook’s data partners will be affected by this move, an onus of responsibility will also be shifted to Facebook advertisers to represent and warrant that proper consent has been obtained for the use of any data uploaded to create custom audiences. Will these moves, set against the potential growth of other social media platforms, have any significant effect on advertisers deciding to use Facebook going forward?
In response to the data privacy scandal, Facebook is introducing additional safeguards including a new custom audience permission tool that will enable advertisers to work with service providers, such as agencies, to manage audiences on their behalf. The tool will include additional verification and education to serve as a reminder that it is the advertiser who will ultimately be held accountable for that data. In addition, restrictions for sharing custom audiences between business managers will also be introduced.
In terms of the fallout of the scandal in favor of competing for social media platforms, it is not expected that consumers will jump ship overnight to the likes of Instagram (owned by Facebook) or Snapchat. Consumers still spend the majority of their time on Facebook, supported by the increase of “cost per thousand impressions” (CPM) on the platform and that, in terms of return on investment (ROI), Facebook still remains first port of call for the majority of performance marketers.
Watch this space
Whilst video content on social media has not represented nearly as much revenue as originally anticipated, platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat are continuing to invest in the medium. This is due to the opportunity to capitalize on revenues previously being spent on cable subscriptions. Snapchat is still considered to be very much in an exploratory phase, yet growth should be expected. Facebook Watch has also made some positive impact on how videos are going to be surfaced in the news feed, as well as creating innovative ways for publishers to monetize content. Twitter Live has been successful in its own right in attracting people wanting to receive content in real time.
Content is king
Despite less time being spent on Facebook by consumers than before, that time actually being spent is now considered of higher quality. It is considered, therefore, that this change of behavior will impact advertisers in a positive light. The reality for advertisers, however, is they need to target people with the right ad and the right message, at the right time. Better quality content would help the likes of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat to capitalize on the impact of those television budgets moving online.
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