Facebook is clamping down on advertisers that use questionable methods on their platform, such as including too specific demographic information in their call to action or making a promise (“Click here and win a free laptop!”) that isn’t fulfilled by the landing site, ClickZ reports.
This is important because hyper-targeting is the big promise of Facebook ads. While many argue that Facebook won’t be a viable advertising platform because people come to Facebook to hang out with their friends, not buy products, Facebook’s massive trove of demographic info about their users promise to target ads very precisely, which is addictive to advertisers.
The problem with that is that it raises privacy and reliability issues, so Facebook has to tread a fine line here, allowing targeting narrow enough to make their ads competitive, but clamping down on practices that spook users.
The timing here is noteworthy: Facebook is doing this as big advertisers such as Fortune 500 companies, consumer packaged goods brands and app developers like Zynga are buying into their platform in a big way. These rules don’t concern the bigger advertisers, who don’t use these kinds of tactics. This means that Facebook won’t take a significant revenue hit from the new policy, as the revenue from these dicey small advertisers is replaced by the big names.
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