Facebook is attempting a new tool that would allow advertisers to create alternative audiences away from specific targeting. 

The social media giant is convincing advertisers of a new way to identify their potential customers and target ads without using personal data and traits. This is a sensitive issue for Facebook because they’ve been facing allegations of using personal data for targeting ads in the past. 

Facebook claims that they can make accurate profiles of consumers without relying on their personal information including age, gender, ZIP, and other identifying characteristics. This is an alternative route for ad targeting that’s not based on personal data but rather on peoples’ online behavior. 

Special Ad Audience tool 

In preparation for the new feature, Facebook began rolling out updates to its platform. The changes forbid targeting based on race, age, gender, family status, and household income.  

Facebook’s new tool is called a special ad audience. The effectiveness of this feature hasn’t been tested yet. However, advertisers have expressed their concerns regarding the restriction of data use thinking that it might affect the success of their campaigns. 

The special ad audience is a replacement of the ‘lookalike’ audiences. Lookalikes are users with traits from customer profiles given by advertisers. For example, an automaker could share client email with Facebook and provide details about the brand’s loyal customers. Facebook will then be able to serve ads to similar people. That was then. 

Facebook addressing issues after Cambridge Analytica

Facebook removed the third-party data providers from their platform in 2018. On the other hand, Oracle Data Cloud, Epsilon, and Acxiom had been offering their advertisers access to hundreds of hyper-specific audiences but for Facebook, such is no longer the case. The hyper-specific data gave brands instant audiences that are broken down into specific categories such as income, interest, family status, gender, and others.

The days of doing specific targeting on Facebook are over,” says Brad O’Brien, VP of social and content marketing at 3Q Digital. He also added that Facebook ad buyers’ jobs are now changing due to the new feature. Without the specific ad targeting, Facebook is simply telling advertisers to throw their ads out there. This means that their ads must be flexible enough to cater to various kinds of people on the net. 

Facebook is coming up with a new feature that you will love. 

The idea of the News tabs on Facebook came about in April this year. The Wall Street Journal reported that publishers have been approached by Facebook and offered up to $3 million per year to license content. The publishers include Dow Jones, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and ABC News. They have been offered a large sum to allow Facebook to use their headlines and article excerpts in their news tab.

A significant move for Facebook  

Additionally, there will soon be news tab in the Facebook app that’s solely for delivering high-quality news straight to the users. This is a good move after the frequent fake news claims, and misinformation, that’s flooded Facebook in the past. The social network has been facing issues regarding misleading information on the platform and this move is a way to address that issue. 

Just recently, Facebook made changes in its algorithm which resulted in more ad revenue for publishers. As for the news tab, this will give publishers more freedom and allow them to choose how they display their content on the news tab. 

Mark Zuckerberg said that this isn’t a revenue play for them. “We’re coming to this from a very different perspective than I think some of the other players in the space who view news as a way that they want to maximize their revenue. That’s not necessarily the way that we’re thinking about this,” says Zuckerberg. 

Facebook’s plans 

The social media mogul has been brewing this plan for a long time. They have been trying to work with news publishers then but in the past publishers weren’t paid for their content. However, they shared their content on Facebook and reward them with the share of advertising dollars. This trend is going to change with the coming of the news tab feature. 

Facebook is going to be quarantining all the news into one tab and subsequently create a section for it so that dedicated newsreaders on Facebook will be able to stay up to date on the social platform. In the same way that the video tabs on Facebook currently work, the News tab will work in a similar fashion.

Zuckerberg said that he isn’t sure yet as to whether Facebook is going to curate a mix of news for users to read or to pick the news that the readers are going to see. Facebook executives are still discussing these plans. 

We will be seeing some changes in the Facebook news tab in the coming months. 

It’s a long-standing theory that the social media giants Facebook and Instagram are listening to peoples’ conversations. 

Instagram head Adam Mosseri denied the rumor and said that there is no way the platforms are listening to users’ conversations in his interview on CBS host Gayle King. 

The host voiced this widespread concern on privacy and data collection in many social media platforms and asked Mosseri whether there’s truth to this theory. 

King asked how the ads just perfectly pop up when she is talking privately with someone about buying a product. Mosseri flat out responded that this question isn’t new for him and many have been asking the same thing. He said that there are two explanations for it – it can be dumb luck, or the user is talking about a product that they interacted in the past. 

Mosseri explained that a user might be talking about something because the user has been interacting with the type of content and similar content recently. For example, if you are looking for restaurants and you’re into foods and you liked a restaurant on Facebook and Instagram – then there is a high probability that these subconscious choices of yours will bubble up later. This happens often and in subtle ways. 

He also added that they are not looking at the messages and listening to conversations of users via their microphone and that doing so is a huge problem for many reasons. King asked him if experienced the same thing but he wasn’t able to give a straight answer and example which further fuelled that doubts in King. 

Despite Moserri’s explanation, King seemed to be unsatisfied and wasn’t having any of it and concluded that she isn’t believing a word he said. 

The doubt continues 

Facebook took over Instagram in 2012 and has long faced several issues including privacy, data-sharing practices, transparency, and lack of protection for election integrity. Users are also accusing Facebook of recording users’ conversations via a built-in microphone in phones to tailor ads. Zuckerberg rejected and denied this accusation and said that it’s no more than a conspiracy theory in his testimony before Congress last year. 

Major changes are coming to Facebook and businesses will take a hit for it. 

Facebook, the giant social media network is launching new changes to mobile news feed post and ad layouts beginning August 19. Instead of the 2:3 ratio with 7 lines of primary text, Facebook is switching to a 4:5 ratio with 3 lines of the primary text. Now that may seem insignificant for many users but surely not for entrepreneurs. This new ratio will mean that ads will now have fewer lines of text and reduced height for their photos and videos. 


Effects on marketers and advertisers

Advertisers will now have to rack their brains to get their message across customers and potential customers. A stronger message has to be sent so that people will be prompted to click that ‘See More’ button. 

Videos must also be maximized to accommodate the new size to avoid being automatically ‘masked’ when the new sizing kicks in. 

Susan Wenograd, the VP of marketing strategy at Aimclear first tweeted about the efforts of Facebook in creating a more consistent and maximized mobile experience by saying that less is more. Less text means users can skim more efficiently. Images are now more encouraged because images get to the focal point a lot quicker. 

Marketers must be able to use text more effectively in conjunction with attention-grabbing images to capitalize on the coming changes. People respond to images because they are easier to understand, and this move makes sense with the overwhelming content we see on a day-to-day basis said Wenograd. 

In a post, Facebook shared that the changes are designed to simplify the format of the platform. The social media giant hopes that this will increase the ad’s effectiveness. It seems as though the changes will enhance the user’s experience and potentially help marketers in the long run.  For more Facebook updates subscribe to the Holler Hustle.  

Distrust is looming over Washington as Libra co-creator David Marcus testifies in court. 

David Marcus testified before the Senate for over two hours as U.S. lawmakers questioned the company’s plan in launching a digital currency. Both sides of the aisle seemed adamant about not trusting Facebook in its attempt of building Libra. 

As the head of Libra, Marcus faced the Senate Committee on Banking, Urban Affairs, and Housing and answered their queries about the Libra currency. Libra was first announced back in June and scheduled for launch sometime in 2020. So far, Facebook has been able to withstand criticism but it seems like the backlash is getting much worse. 

During the hearing, Chairwoman Maxine Waters stated, “I have serious concerns with Facebook’s plans,” she continued by stating “if Facebook’s plans come to fruition, the company and its partners will wield immense economic power that could destabilize currencies and governments.”

Facebook hits a nerve 

Many are skeptical about Facebook’s plan moving forward including Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Brown was critical of the company’s track record and its ability to play a huge role in the financial system. “Like a toddler who gotten its hands on a book of matches, Facebook has burned the house down and over and called every arson a learning experience, “said Brown. Democratic Senator, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, also shared the same sentiment. He compared Libra Association to Spectre, the organization behind the James Bond enterprise. 

Marcus remained unmoved and unflustered throughout the session and stuck to the public-relations points. 

Facebook Distrust 

Marcus, the former PayPal president, was asked repeatedly by several Senators whether Facebook’s Libra can be trusted. CNBC reports, “Facebook will not control the network, the currency, or the reserve backing it,” wrote David Marcus, the head of the company’s blockchain group, in a blog post on Wednesday. “Facebook will only be one among over a hundred members of the Libra Association by launch. We will not have any special rights or privileges.”

Libra is receiving much attention but Marcus stuck to his assertion that if the US won’t build it now, somebody else will and that is much greater damage to the country’s geopolitical power. While this currency is still trying to get its legs, it seems Marcus is right, if Facebook isn’t the platform to create this sort of currency another entity will. To stay informed on Facebook’s Crypto updates subscribe to the Holler Hustle.

Creators are bound to like the new features that will help them earn more and collaborate more. 

Facebook announced its new updates last Tuesday designed to let creators earn more money through the platform. The social network giant offers creators more control over how their ads appear in videos. Before this week’s updates, Facebook had control over the type of ad that appears in videos but as of this week, creators now have the freedom to choose how their ads appear. 

Facebook’s Ad Breaks

Creators can now activate an un-interruptive ad format using the Ad breaks. The Ad breaks have three formats – the pre-roll before the video, the mid-roll shown during the video, and the image as that run throughout the video. This feature was originally launched in August last year in the US, UK, NZ, Ireland, and Australia. By the next month, Ad breaks will be expanded to 21 more countries. 

Enhanced Brand collaborations

Another feature is the enhanced Brand Collabs Manager, the tool announced at VidCon 2018 which allows brands and agencies to partner and collaborate with influencers. The Brand collabs tool now has performance analytics that allows all parties to track their performance and engagement.

Improved Creator Studio

Creator Studio was also launched last year and acted as a centralized hub for creators and publishers who are managing video content. It now includes updates that support monetization efforts. In addition, there’s now a Monetization Overview section with a new audience and retention insights. Creators can now also manage their Instagram posts and IGTV in the Creator Studio. 

Facebook has been big in attracting creators from other content such as YouTube. This year, the biggest social network is opening more opportunities for creators and publishers in making more revenue. Advertisers now have better options in showing their ads to a wider audience in Facebook’s new features. 

The effort will be a great avenue for marketers to interact with influencers and make a bigger push within p2p campaigns. For more information on marketing stay tuned into the Holler Hustle.

Facebook is releasing new apps created to enhance the user experience

On July 9th, Facebook announced the arrival of new, consumer-focused, IOS and Andriod apps produced by a special team from the social media empire. The new product experimentation team is working on projects to enhance the user experience by, “giving people the power to build community but will focus on shipping entirely new experiences.” 

The NPE team is an isolated team focused team with the goal of adding other offerings to Facebook’s portfolio. Though this isn’t the first time Facebook has tried to expand its reach through other applications.  Apple Insider notes that apps like Lifestage, Slingshot, Poke, and multiple clones of Snapchat were sunset. The track record for Facebook’s independent apps hasn’t been great.  

Facebook’s blog post on addresses their past failures in a casual sort of way by explaining that the decision to use a different name was in an effort to distance users from the expectations users has for Facebook. The apps will be subject to rapid changes, and if an app isn’t useful that will be the last users hear of that app. Facebook added that they, “expect many failures.”     

While no apps are online as of yet, Facebook stresses that user privacy and the data collected through these apps will be controlled by the users. In addition, these apps will be subject to the policies that Facebook now adheres to in regard to privacy and data. 

There isn’t currently any info on what apps the NPE has in development right now or the time frame in which Facebook wants to make these accounts known. Early adopters of these apps may have the opportunity to get a head start on potential marketing opportunities.  Stay tuned into the Holler Hustle for updates on the latest marketing and tech news! 

 Facebook is taking measures to stop pages from posting sensationalized medicine or health-related claims. 

The social media giant has made updates to its News Feed algorithm. Last Tuesday, Facebook made moves to address posts that sensationalized health claims and posts promoting products and services based on health claims. No one appreciates posts with spammy and misleading health contents. Travis Yeh, Facebook Product Manager said that the platform is cracking down on posts about health that mislead people. Health is a top concern for most, and sensationalizing risks can mislead users.  

Why does this matter?

For most, this doesn’t matter at all. However, for marketers, this is something you need to be aware of. Marketers who are managing Facebook pages for healthcare products and services must be careful in their posts.  Facebook is adamant in taking down posts under two categories: 

  • A post that exaggerates or misleads – example, making a sensational claim on a miracle cure
  • A post promoting a product based on a health-related claim – for example, promoting medicines or pills claiming to help you lose weight. 

If Facebook puts your post under any of those two categories, they will take action to prevent further issues. In the same way that click-bait posts were handled in the past, misleading posts will also be identified by using common phrases used in exaggerated posts and show these posts lower in the News Feed. 

According to the investigation led by The Wall Street Journal, the posts with wrong information are often put alongside videos, ads, and pages for proven treatments. 

Two of the leading companies that are flooded with click-baits and misleading content are YouTube and Facebook. The contents vary from just health-related content, to content with harmful information. Facebook promptly acted upon the issue and made this warning while other tech companies are also now aggressively trying to take down misleading posts, political misinformation, and hate speech. For marketers, understanding Facebook protocall is important. Even if information isn’t being exaggerated, understanding what can be penalized directly after these changes are made is important. Subscribe to Holler Hustle for updates on Facebook’s protocol changes.

Facebook starts to allow topical CBD Oil

Facebook ads are a great way to get your product, or brand, in front of a specific audience. Businesses can reach a large audience with just a few clicks. With all this influence, Facebook has had to set parameters on products and audiences that ads are directed too. It seems over the last year the popularity of CBD oil came in the wake of essential oils.  

After business accounts have been deleted, Facebook pages have been suspended, and suits have been filed by CBD brands Facebook has just started to open the floodgates for the multimillion dollar industry. Companies have been successful shaping their entire business around a Facebook business page, and to have that taken away from the business would, and has been, detrimental to some.  

The Verge reported Facebook’s misstep by citing businesses and individuals who were directly harmed by Facebook’s oversight. After researching, The Verge found the only information that linked to the issue within Facebook’s ad policy stated,“illegal products or services,” “drugs & drug-related products,” and “unsafe supplements,” the last of which is “as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion.”

Since the articles release there have been changes to the ad industry across mediums. According to Digiday, Facebook has just recently changed their policy on the hemp derivative. It’s important to note that hemp doesn’t come from marijuana, their actually genetic cousins. Allowing pages to promote ads for topical hemp, is a smart move for Facebook keeping in mind that the industry is projected to grow reaching $16 billion over the next 6 years. In addition to ads, advertisers can direct users to landing pages for topical CBD and edible hemp.

Other ad platforms are slowly following suit.  The Morning Consult reports, “Shedrack Anderson, co-founder of the CBD-infused skincare line Chilyo LP, said Thursday that Google approached him to be part of a “trial realm” of companies that could purchase advertising on the site through its Google Ads portal. He declined to say when Google made its overture or how many other CBD retailers are in the program.”

In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Harvard Health Publishing states CDB is linked to reduced symptoms of epilepsy, anxiety, and can promote restful sleep.  

What can we take away from this as marketers? It’s important to note that Facebook isn’t always right in their ad approval, whether CBD related or otherwise, and if there is a discrepancy, contacting Facebook immediately should be the quickest course of action. For more information about Facebook Ad updates check out our recent article on Facebook Ad Budget Optimization.    

Cryptocurrency unveiled and will be launched in 2020.

Facebook is geared up with their upcoming Libra cryptocurrency with the powerful companies backing them up. Finance companies such as Mastercard and Visa, internet favorites like Uber, Stripe, Boooking.com, PayPal are all listed to become part of the Libra Association. These companies will be investing roughly $10 million to fund the development of the cryptocurrency.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, these companies are in for a ride because they want to monitor Facebook’s payment ambitions and ride in the wake of Facebook’s crypto popularity when it officially launches next year.

Libra cryptocurrency in a glimpse

Facebook’s cryptocurrency called Libra is unveiled today and will be released in 2020. It will be a stable coin and will allow you to buy and send money to people around the globe with almost zero fees. Users will be sending money via Messenger and WhatsApp.

One of Facebook’s major concerns about this is stability which is typical in cryptocurrencies. The social media mogul is targeting users from developing countries to shift their use of local currency to this Libra cryptocurrency.

Future plans of Facebook include looking for e-commerce firms and make it possible to use the currency to buy things online. It is also planning to expand into the ATM physical terminals where users can exchange their Libra currencies for cash.

How does it work?

Libra is a way to connect people with little to no access to traditional banking platforms. Like other crypto currencies, Libra will be an easier means to conduct transactions and transfers with minimal fees. It’s like your virtual accounting system and with Facebook’s Libra, sending money will be as easy as sending a photo to your friends via Messenger. This should be important to marketers because facebook is making an effort to close the loop between their marketing efforts and the method users pay with. Further weaving Facebook into the fabric of a transaction process, Facebook will know what users want to buy and they’ll provide a currency to purchase it with.