Think Facebook (and Google) can’t drain any more ad dollars? Well, according to Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg (pictured above) you ain’t seen nothing yet.
On Monday, Facebook declared it now had more than five million companies advertising on its platform each month, up from four million six months ago. Some 1.9 billion people globally are now on the world’s largest social network and between them, Facebook and Google will reportedly snare 46 per cent of all ad dollars come 2018.
However, an alarming stat out of the UK shows that the duopoly’s share will rise to 70 per cent by 2020 and decimate a host of traditional media that is dependent on ad dollars for their survival.
Sandberg said Facebook’s new strategy was to focus on smaller advertisers, the company announcing a slew of new initiatives in a blog post on Monday. Read the post here.
The latest changes include a “one click” option in Facebook’s ads manager to reinstate high-performing ads, and a desktop tool to manage customer messages. It also comes with audience targeting, a mobile design studio and online courses available so far in 10 languages.
“Small businesses provide such important products and services, but they also are a huge engine of job growth in a world where job growth is increasingly uncertain and something people really worry about,” Sandberg told the newswire service Reuters.
However, there’s now a growing concern about the flow-on affects the duopoly will have on traditional medias who are seeing their ever-shrinking ad pie shift to Facebook and Google.
In the UK, the trade website for newspapers and magazines, the Press Gazette, has argued that such is the dominance of the two its time for government intervention.
“Imagine if two news publishers dominated digital media in the way that Facebook and Google do,” it argued in a statement.
“The government would not allow such a duopoly to stand. Campaigners would call for them to be broken up in the name of media plurality.”
It added: “This is money which had been spent on journalists holding those in power to account has been transferred to two US-owned digital platforms which exist purely to exploit content rather than create it.
“News publishers are reaching more people than ever before both directly, via their websites, and indirectly, via social media.
“But they are getting an ever shrinking slice of the advertising pie. This has a direct impact on the number of journalists they are able to employ.
“The effect of this can already be seen and is devastating for both the news industry and for society in general.
“That’s why Press Gazette is today launching its Duopoly campaign which aims to stop Facebook and Google destroying any more of the UK journalism industry.
“There is no simple solution, but broadly we are seeking a fairer deal between news publishers and the digital giants – one which fairly rewards the creators of the content on which these platforms rely.”