Changes to Facebook Advertising After Cambridge Analytica

What's Happening with Usage, Advertising and Data Privacy

It’s been nearly three months since the Cambridge Analytica revelations. We share what’s changed—and what hasn’t—about how users and advertisers feel about Facebook.

  • Users continue to express heightened concern about privacy, but few appear to have deleted their profiles. Facebook reported softness in user metrics in North America for Q1, but this was unlikely to be related to data privacy concerns.
  • Facebook’s many recent crises—data privacy, fake news, Russian meddling, unsafe content—are negatively impacting users’ perceptions of the platform, a trend which bears further watching.
  • In light of the above, we have moderated our growth forecast for time spent on Facebook among US adult users. We estimate they will spend an average of 42 minutes per day on Facebook, up 1.8% from 2017. That’s slower than the growth of 3.6% and 6.0% in the previous two years.
  • Facebook is making changes to its ad targeting products. On the user side, new features such as the ability to clear Facebook browsing history will impact some marketers’ ability to measure and analyze traffic to and from Facebook.
  • The largest concern right now relates to ad targeting, including the value of first-party vs. third-party data, and the ways marketers will be able to source third-party data going forward.
  • Advertisers appear to be holding steady on Q2 Facebook spending. However, some are using this as an opportunity to reevaluate how they use Facebook (and how much they use Facebook) going forward.
  • Advertisers are taking fresh looks at other social platforms, as well as non-social properties like Amazon. But at this point, there are few indications that significant spending will shift away from Facebook.

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Table of Contents

  1. Usage Trends
  2. Advertising, App Developer and Data Privacy Changes
  3. How Are Advertisers Responding?
  1. Key Takeaways
  2. eMarketer Interviews
  3. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Danny Kourianos
Rakuten Marketing
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Interviewed May 2, 2018
Angela Yang
Director, Connections
Interviewed May 8, 2018
Greg Allum
Global Head, Social Media
Interviewed May 1, 2018
Serena Budhwani
Account Director
Interviewed May 7, 2018
Christy Clarke
Goodway Group
Paid Social Director
Interviewed May 15, 2018
Carolyn Everson
Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions
Interviewed May 18, 2018
Rob Goldman
Vice President, Ads
Interviewed May 1, 2018
Varun Gudiseva
Vice President, Commercialization
Interviewed May 15, 2018
Christopher Hansen
Chief Product Officer
Interviewed May 9, 2018
Chris Innes
Interviewed May 4, 2018
Jason Kint
Digital Content Next
Interviewed May 7, 2018
Danielle Krauter
Goodway Group
Vice President, Media Strategy
Interviewed May 15, 2018
Jeremy Leon
Laundry Service
Senior Vice President, Media
Interviewed April 6, 2018
Justin Marshall
Senior Vice President, Emerging Services
Interviewed May 17, 2018
Dino Myers-Lamptey
MullenLowe Mediahub
UK Managing Director
Interviewed May 8, 2018
Michael Priem
Modern Impact
Interviewed May 9, 2018
Jessica Richards
Executive Vice President and Managing Director
Interviewed May 17, 2018
Brooke Skinner Ricketts
Interviewed May 22, 2018
Tuomo Riekki
CTO and Founder
Interviewed May 4, 2018
Jim Squires
Head of Business
Interviewed May 15, 2018
Preethy Vaidyanathan
Chief Product Officer
Interviewed May 15, 2018
Matt Naeger
Merkle Inc.
Chief Strategy Officer, Americas
Interviewed April 19, 2018
Peter Randazzo
Merkle Inc
Interviewed April 19, 2018


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