The era of benefit of the doubt is coming to close for businesses. Consumers are growing more skeptical of brands, while at the same time holding them to a higher standard than ever before when it comes to transparency and honesty. There’s probably no clearer example of this playing out than Facebook. The social network has been roiling from a never-ending series of scandals, obfuscations and crisis mishandling. So what’s the right approach? Consumers say openness.
2019’s been quite a year for Facebook up until this point, and much of that has been driven by Facebook’s plans around messaging.
The world is starting to wake up from a social media daze it’s been in for the last 15 years, and last week we learned even Facebook may be waking up… a bit. Mark Zuckerberg made quite the statement in regards to the future of the social network. “We’re building a foundation for social communication aligned with the direction people increasingly care about: messaging each other privately…. I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms.”
2018 is a year Facebook is very glad to see in the rearview mirror. Scrutiny of its once sterling leadership has has risen dramatically. Its stock price has taken it. Trust in the platform couldn’t be lower, and for the first time since its inception many users are questioning whether or not their lives would simply be better without it.
Facebook’s earnings call laid out a vision for the platform’s future that’s very different than its present state. CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared an update that Facebook plans to start relying less on the News Feed to generate revenue and plans to encourage users to spend less time there as well. The News Feed has been an albatross, albeit a very profitable one, for Facebook throughout 2018 as its been used by foreign agents to spread misinformation, clickbait websites to generate clicks and governments to spread lies and propagate xenophobia.
Facebook’s changing things up in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica controversy. The social network is under more pressure than ever to take a stand on user data and privacy, and that means its making waves—waves that are going to affect how advertisers approach the Facebook platform.
There have been a lot of changes to Facebook over the past couple of weeks, but arguably the biggest change so far for advertisers at least is the removal of “Partner Categories.” The tool allows advertisers to tap into third-party data from partners like Acxiom and Experian to target users based on factors including buying behaviors, household demographics and so on. Needless to say, it's a pretty powerful and incredibly useful tool that advertisers can use to augment their own data short comings.