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Fewer Political Ads to be Shown on FB and Instagram: Facebook

Facebook says it will show fewer political ads but won't ban

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Facebook on Thursday announced it will show fewer political ads to people on its platform and Instagram. Pixabay

Facebook on Thursday announced it will show fewer political ads to people on its platform and Instagram, starting with the US which faces Presidential elections this year, but won’t ban or limit those as Twitter has already done and Google to some extent.

Targeting both Twitter and Google, the social networking platform said that while Twitter has chosen to block political ads and Google has chosen to limit the targeting of political ads, “we are choosing to expand transparency and give more controls to people when it comes to political ads”.

“Seeing fewer political and social issue ads is a common request we hear from people. That’s why we plan to add a new control that will allow people to see fewer political and social issue ads on Facebook and Instagram,” said Rob Leathern, Director of Product Management at Facebook.

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Facebook said it is updating its Ad Library to increase the level of transparency. Pixabay

The expanded transparency features will roll out in the first quarter of 2020 and will apply in all countries where Facebook facilitates “Paid for by” disclaimers on ads.

“We plan to deploy the political ads control starting in the US early this summer, eventually expanding this preference to more locations,” said the company.

The social networking platform said it is updating its Ad Library to increase the level of transparency.

“We are adding ranges for Potential Reach, which is the estimated target audience size for each political, electoral or social issue ad so you can see how many people an advertiser wanted to reach with every ad,” said Facebook.

The company said it is adding the ability to search for ads with exact phrases, better grouping of similar ads, and adding several new filters to better analyze results like audience size, dates and regions reached.

Later this month, it will begin rolling out a control to let people choose how an advertiser can reach them with a Custom Audience from a list.

These Custom Audiences are built when an advertiser uploads a hashed list of people’s information, such as emails or phone numbers, to help target ads.

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“This control will be available to all people on Facebook and will apply to all advertisers, not just those running political or social issue ads,” said Facebook.

According to the company, when it comes to targeting, “our data actually indicates over 85 per cent of spend by US presidential candidates on Facebook is for ad campaigns targeted to audiences estimated to be greater than 250,000”. (IANS)

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Promotional E-Cigarettes Posts on Instagram Outnumber Anti-Vaping Content: Study

E-cigarette popular on Instagram despite anti-vaping content

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Despite "The Real Cost" awareness campaign launched by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018, nearly one third of American teenagers are estimated to use e-cigarettes. Pixabay

Promotional e-cigarettes posts on popular photo-sharing platform Instagram outnumber anti-vaping content 10,000 to one, according to a new study and health news.

Despite “The Real Cost” awareness campaign launched by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018, nearly one third of American teenagers are estimated to use e-cigarettes, the researchers said.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Communication, highlights the limited impact of the FDA campaign, while also using deep learning – an artificial intelligence method – to better understand the marketing tactics used by vaping companies.

“US public health officials have been calling vaping among youth an epidemic and have been putting a lot of effort into trying to stop this epidemic by introducing #TheRealCost anti-vaping campaign but this stark imbalance in the volume of posts has caused the FDA message to be overwhelmed by marketing from the vaping brands,” said study researcher Julia Vassey from University of California in the US.

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Many teenagers continue to view e-cigarettes as healthier than conventional cigarettes, but vaping is associated with inflammation, reduced immune responses and breathing troubles. Pixabay

Many teenagers continue to view e-cigarettes as healthier than conventional cigarettes, but vaping is associated with inflammation, reduced immune responses and breathing troubles, the study said.

To further understand how vaping is perceived on social media, research team collected 245,894 Instagram posts spanning from before and after the #TheRealCost campaign launch.

The team also conducted interviews with five vaping influencers and eight college-age social media users. “We focused on Instagram because the vaping influencers we interviewed for this study identified Instagram as their most important social media marketing platform,” Vassey explained.

“Based on the results, the FDA anti-vaping campaign is not very popular and we saw Instagram user comments disputing the FDA claims of damaging health effects from nicotine and calling the campaign propaganda,” Vassey added.

Also Read- Drugs That Treat Arthritis in Dogs Can Kill Cancer Cells: Study

In contrast to the FDA’s intentions, the study found that vaping posts received nearly three times more “likes” after the campaign launch. They also found that there were six times as many posts that had greater than 100 likes.

According to the researchers, participants in the focus groups suggested that the anti-vaping campaign promoted scare tactics rather than offering guidance on how to quit vaping. (IANS)