The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal saw up to 87 million Facebook users’ data stolen without permission by the London based data firm, Cambridge Analytica.
An app called This is Your Digital Life was created to gather psychological profiles of American voters, then was used to create personalised campaigns associated with Donald Trump.
As a result, users’ trust in the platform has been dented. Regardless of what’s true, untrue or whose fault it is, the question those in the retail industry are asking is:
Will consumers spend less time on Facebook and should I take my adspend elsewhere?
Despite the circulated memes and statuses telling friends and family to delete Facebook, it is unlikely that many will. It was said in the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees that while there was a movement…
“It seems like Facebook users still want to use the platform, because they enjoy sharing photos. They share their connectivity with their family members. That type of thing. And that overrides their concerns about privacy.” – Senator Ron Johnson, R.Wis.
Some users have spent years adding to their profiles; uploading pictures, posting statuses and interacting with friends. What they have inadvertently created is a ‘digital life’ or a ‘digital personality’ which, as everyone is realising, is hard to let go of.
In addition, Facebook’s popularity is still dominating with 1.45bn daily users and although trust in the platform is questionable, having decreased by 66% since the scandal (Ponemon Institute), 62% of US users access Facebook at least once a day.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook recently revealed that the first quarter of 2018 had been strong in spite of the challenges faced by the social network. With January to March bringing $11.97bn in revenue, up by 49% from last year, it is clear the #DeleteFacebook movement has had little effect.
As a result, eMarketer said that they tend not to make knee-jerk decisions in response to Facebook’s negative publicity, having seen it before with Google and YouTube:
"Facebook is a huge platform and as long as advertisers can reach their customers through it they will continue using it. It is a little bit disingenuous for the brands to put the boot into Facebook when they have been complaining for many years it is this walled garden and they wanted more data out of it." – Bill Fisher, Senior Analyst, eMarketer.
Facebook usage down
There has, however, been a 24% drop in usage primarily amongst its teen users; to which eMarketer credits the rise of social platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat.
This is an opportunity for marketers to make use of advertising on up and coming platforms, with a predicted $3.3bn to be spent on social advertising in 2018. Instagram, by the end of this year, will own 4.9% of the digital ad market, rising to 8% in 2020. Snapchat will also have 0.8%, climbing to 2% in 2020, with social media owning 29.7% of the digital market overall.
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