Facebook is under a lot of scrutiny because some journalist looking to make a name for themselves worked out how to kill 3 birds with one stone. Big bad Trump, big bad Facebook and everyones favorite cold war enemy big bad Russia. They did this by linking the 3 together finding some ads bought by Russians on Facebook promoting Trump. We wrote about Trump vs Clinton Facebook ads way back when the election was still in the year and a half campaign period before anyone actually votes.
The first think you have to realize is that Trump is behind over 10 percent of all social media interactions before the election and even though people thought this would drop afterwards he was so bankable this trend continued.
There is no doubt in my mind that any government that was ever effected negatively by Clinton will want to swing the election against her and that means Trump benefits. There are also those governments that see a woman president as an insult as their culture does not value women as highly as men. One thing is for sure and that is that every single breathing person in the world had an opinion.
Then there are Facebook advertisers who just happen to be successful click bait generators and found a way to arbitrage Facebook clicks into Google Adsense revenue or into product sales or donations (the irony of a Trump supporter giving money to a Russian to help promote Trump).
Facebook decided after a year of heavy criticism on everything from fake news (like everything is real or fake and never unsure) to now this Facebook’s role in the outcome of the US election.
What makes Facebook worth half a trillion dollars by market cap is its revenue stream and that is generated from over 3 million advertisers spending well over $3 billion a month so when this becomes headline news, although $100,000 worth of ad spend is laughable as its 1/1000th of a days revenue, yet makes a PR disaster resulting in Zuckerberg’s issuing a 9 point plan to tackle this issue.
Some people are saying this will be the death of Facebook ad spy tools with the timing WhichAdsWork shutting down so I will discuss 3 scenarios.
Business as usual
Just like diet, dating or other industries with heavy regulation political advertisers must register. Everyone can see those ads and therefore they get added to spy tools under the political ad category. Politics attracts some of the best copywriters and marketers (whats harder than selling hopes, dreams, and change to everyone)
At anytime spy tools can be Facebook enemy number 1 just like any tool that relies on a single entity for its survival. Maybe because they don’t control is, maybe because they don’t like it or maybe just because it feels like its the best thing to do for their community. We would argue that as most of our customers are from countries where English is not their first language and that marketing on a platform they can not see in a language they barely understand this is not entirely true, but who can argue with a $500,000,000,000 company?
In this case Facebook spy tools simple go private with no web presence. The data will always be out there and trust me, it helps when making ads, writing copy, writing speeches, creating videos, designing landing pages, adding steps to your funnel and searching for new ideas so people will want it.
Transparency On Ads
Facebook is already showing your ad history to some users and it may be that all ads will be shown in an effort to see what ads are being shown to people not just you. I don’t think this will happen because a) they don’t have to, politics is the problem child and b) the consequences of this will outweigh the benefits and make an open arms race between virtual all of their advertisers burning out creatives before they have a chance to test them a bit like high frequency traders. But having said that Google has all their ads open since the beginning and it never been an issue but they are using specific search terms so an ad showed today on the same keyword works just as well 2 months later for the same search giving them longevity.
If suddenly all ads were available to see from every advertiser that would be a god send as currently it is impossible to determine which ads are sponsored and which are not unless you are the advertiser and many or most of them are dark most or ads hidden from the page’s timeline. Even if all spy tools were forced offline it would allow a more robust database to be built for the few underground advertisers that do have access and the price would skyrocket.
Service companies would also have a field day knowing all 3,000,000 plus companies which advertise.
This is why I am very doubtful all ads are about to be exposed, just the political ones so Zuckerberg can run for president without people thinking he has an unfair advantage for they can see the ads he run in his campaign.
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