Facebook advertisers are interested in what they can expect now that the data landscape is changed. Despite the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has remained a strong player in the social media landscape. Three quarters of Facebook users are as active or more active than ever. The Facebook app, Instagram and Messenger are within the top 10 most downloaded free apps, and advertising revenue continues to grow, based upon the most recent earnings call.
With 5 million advertisers on Facebook, the value exchange between users, Facebook, and advertisers is still intact and is re-balancing as the company makes adjustments to its advertising policies and capabilities.
Facebook remains a primary force for data and ads, with no reason to believe that will change in the near future, but what impact will the changes have on advertisers? First, Facebook stated it would phase out its Partner Categories throughout the rest of the year. Prior to this, advertisers could locate and integrate audience segments from inside Facebook, via popular data platforms such as Acxiom and Experian. In its March 28 announcement, Facebook stated its common practice to use companies like Acxiom and Experian to produce anonymous data, but it would cease the relationship moving forward as part of its new approach to increased privacy and security policies. From now on, campaigns cannot utilize these audience segments, and previous campaigns will disappear as the campaigns expire. Instead, advertisers must use Facebook’s pre-existing targeting function or import their audience data – like mobile ad IDs, phone numbers and email addresses -- via the Custom Audiences tool.
Additionally, the policies around the Custom Audiences tool within Facebook may change, but it is unclear exactly what changes will be made. New custom audiences terms are already posted and provide an early glimpse at the changes coming to the social platform.
Advertisers will still be able to upload their own data, as long as the data sets meet the appropriate criteria. While Facebook has always required that the data has received appropriate opt-in for use in advertising, acknowledgment and acceptance of this consent may be displayed more prominently. This will be confirmed before uploading the data to Facebook. Additionally, the data must only be uploaded to the advertiser’s account and not exchanged with or sold to any other parties. All signs point to Facebook continuing to offer advertisers the Custom Audiences feature, with greater responsibility placed on the advertiser to acknowledge and prove that the data has been given appropriate permission.
With no replacement in sight, Facebook’s advertising features remain a leading option among brands. Facebook’s platform contains the most sophisticated online advertising tool, and its reach remains unmatched by any other app on the market.