New from Meta: Basic Ads

Time is ticking away in the phasing out of third-party tracking technologies to target audiences. Many marketers and brands are scrambling to adapt. Even tech giant Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram, is adapting. Recent reports claim that Meta is proposing a new product that will help brands that advertise on the platform gain exposure. Its name: Basic Ads.

Privacy-first

Yes, the “privacy-first” mindset to has been in motion since the beginning of 2021, and third-party tracking will be obsolete by the end of 2023. Google has proposed a couple of alternate solutions, which have been met—at best—with very mixed results:

  • FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), an all-browser based option which groups users by groups (i.e., cohorts).

  • Topics API, which gathers and categorizes by interests. For a stronger alternative, many marketers are making the effort to transition from third-party to first-party data, which builds direct, concrete relationships between brand and customer. 

And what about Meta’s situation?

Motivations of Meta

When Mark Zuckerberg detailed his planned vision for the “Metaverse” last year, there was a lot of speculation regarding his motives. Was it a genuine change for the better, or a means to divert attention away from negative backlash, part of which involved privacy issues and security. Before this, Facebook was impacted by Apple’s updates to iOS 14.0 and 14.5, which revolved around (you guessed it) privacy concerns for users. How impacted? According to Brian Frederick in Search Engine Journal, Facebook’s ad revenue is projected to lose approximately $16 billion by the end of the year. Dramatic changes like this may indeed have been strong motivators for Zuckerberg and company to go “back to basics” via Basic Ads.

How will Basic Ads work?

True to its name, the intention of Basic Ads is to promote brand awareness to potential customers through very simple metrics like engagement and video views. Nicole Farley, writing for MarTech, points out that since there has been no announcement as to the rollout date for Basic Ads, the only response has been questions regarding how beneficial this new format would be. While the purpose of Basic Ads may be an answer to privacy concerns on Meta’s social media platforms, granular targeting and lead generation will be difficult—if not impossible.

Possible problems—and who may or may not benefit

As stated, should Basic Ads become a reality, effective and accurate measurement will be a problem. Mr. Frederick notes, for example, that while a great many people who might watch a video through Basic Ads shows a high level of engagement, there would still be no true way of measuring its success, as everyone who sees it won’t necessarily become customers. Ms. Harley goes on to point out that Basic Ads might be helpful supplements for well-known brand names, but smaller businesses—which rely greatly on granular targeting and lead generation—will yield little benefit from this new ad format.

As of now, then, there are more questions than answers surrounding Basic Ads, not the least of which is when they will be put into action. 

If you run a small, local business, or own a brand that you are trying to promote, do not let the above theories about Basic Ads concern you. One alternative you should consider is Raydeus Local, a cutting-edge analytics platform that, as the title of its homepage states, offers “advanced digital marketing services for small businesses.” These services include paid search, reputation management, and search engine optimization—among others—that will help boost the digital presence of your brand or business to reach your target audience. Of particular note is Raydeus Local’s digital dashboard, which provides round-the-clock, real-time data of how your business performs.

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