Mediagistic Blog

Last Week in Digital Marketing: Major Changes Taking Place on Facebook and Twitter

Facebook saw a huge drop in app usage over the past several months and is trying to recover and appeal to advertisers. Meanwhile, Twitter attempts to combat the vast amount of fake and malicious accounts roaming the site.

Facebook Introduces Flight Ads

After taking away several targeting features in Ads Manager last month (such as “homeowners” targeting), Facebook decided to grace businesses with a new option. Advertisers can now create Flights Ads, which target users based on their travel-related web history. This includes users’ visits to flight-related websites, apps, and pages. For example, if someone is comparing flights to Italy on Sky Scanner, an airline can target its Facebook ads about reduced flights to Venice so they reach that person.

Facebook says advertisers using this feature have already started seeing results, including Air France, which has lowered its cost per search by 66% since using Flight Ads.

If users feel their privacy is being invaded, they can always opt out of Flight Ads by clicking in the top-right corner of an ad and choosing “opt out.” However, Flight Ads don’t collect any personal information about users, a policy Facebook has been enforcing more vigorously since the 2016 presidential election.

Takeaway: Flight Ads will soon be available on both Facebook and Instagram in the next several weeks and will significantly increase the success of targeting audiences for travel-related advertisements. Although these ads won’t have any direct impact on the home services industry, it’s significant to note that Facebook continues to innovate its ad offerings to ensure more and more efficacy. Keep an eye out for new ad units and optimizations in the future that will more directly impact home services providers.

Young People Delete Facebook App From Their Phones

A recent Pew Research Center study disclosed that 44 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds have deleted the Facebook app from their phones, a higher statistic than any other age group of Facebook users. Experts believe this is in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which received a lot of media attention in March.

The Pew study was conducted between May 29 and June 11, presumably giving the 4,500 adults enough time to learn about the scandal and change their Facebook habits before the survey was distributed. The study also highlighted that 74 percent of Facebook users say they’ve done one of the following in the past year:

  • Adjusted their privacy settings in Facebook (52 percent)
  • Taken a break from using Facebook, at least for a couple of weeks (42 percent)
  • Deleted the app from their phone entirely (26 percent)

Another interesting fact from the study is that “notable shares” of Facebook users ages 18 and above feel they don’t have control over what pops up in their News Feeds and haven’t tried to control the content in their feeds — a tip that could be good for advertisers.

Takeaway: Although this trend is troubling, it likely reflects a short-term reaction to privacy concerns and scandals associated to Facebook. The same trend of deleting social apps is not true for Instagram, notably, and Facebook and Instagram essentially function as the same advertising ecosystem, so advertisers can expect to reach many of these app-deleting users on that platform instead. Long term, however, advertising on these two platforms will likely become more difficult for advertisers as Facebook undoubtedly will introduce more and more privacy controls and targeting opt-outs.

Twitter Suspends Hundreds of Fake Accounts

Twitter has been stepping up its suspension game each week: in late-August, it suspended 284 accounts, and last week, it suspended 486 accounts. This is all in an attempt to minimize the amount of “fake news” online and stop accounts that are trying to manipulate elections.


Many of the comments on these tweets applauded Twitter for taking action against fake accounts, but there were also many users who responded with pleas to reinstate certain suspended accounts that had been deleted on the premise of being malicious:

This week, Twitter has continued to suspend accounts based on its abusive behavior policies.

Takeaway: Stay tuned for more changes coming from Twitter as they journey towards a more transparent platform and engage in the fight against “fake news.”

Liz MacLean is an Inbound Marketing Specialist with experience managing social media and creating content for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. She is an award-winning writer who has produced photographs and articles about cooking, clothing, nature, and fitness for local magazines and newspapers.

Image via iStock

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