Facebook – The Other F-Bomb

03.30.18 // Michelle Craig

It seems like we’ve been hearing the F-Bomb dropped a lot over the last few weeks.

F Bomb Expletives Man

No, not that one…Facebook.

It all started with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which has now led to an FTC investigation. Between user outrage and investor fears, the $400+ Billion company is feeling pressure from every angle to make significant changes to the way that it collects and shares data.

Currently, advertisers can create audiences based off of three data sources: a contact list uploaded by the advertiser, Facebook’s data, and third-party data obtained through Partner Categories. These different data sources are used in combination and independently by advertisers to segment audiences. In an attempt to clean up its act, Facebook has announced that it will be permanently ending the Partner Categories feature.

How will this affect advertisers? The feature will be phased out over the next six months, but it’s yet to be seen how that will affect currently running campaigns.

This isn’t the only change that we’ve seen from Facebook in recent weeks; the company has announced they will no longer show the audience reach estimates for Custom Audiences within campaigns. Facebook implemented this change after research from Northeastern University concluded that there are vulnerabilities in the way the tool functions, and they could be used to identify attributes about a specific person. For advertisers, this change means that we won’t have any data on the actual potential reach of a Custom Audience once it’s in a campaign.

Facebook accounts for 20% of the global ad market. With the Cambridge Analytica incident being just the latest in a series of data privacy issues, one might wonder, are advertisers going to flee?

The short answer is: probably not. With over 2.1 billion active users and the ability to target users in a way that other paid platforms can’t compete with, Facebook will likely remain a giant in the $203 billion digital advertising market.

This F-Bomb is contained…for now.



About Michelle Craig

Michelle Craig is a former Paid Social Manager who has gone to the dark side of B2B sales. She loves how dynamic social media marketing is and is always up for a new challenge. When she isn't at the office, Michelle enjoys lifting weights, drinking craft beer, and hanging out with her rescue pup, Blutbad. View all Michelle Craig’s posts >