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Facebook takes dual approach to address concerns around platform

Measurability, third party verifications and brand safety are only some of the concerns that marketers and people at large have challenged Facebook with, in the last year. At the ongoing dmexco forum in Cologne in Germany, WPP Chief Sir Martin Sorrell pointed out that platforms such as Facebook and Google face more pressure on some of these issues than the rest of their peer due to their sheer scale and the fact that the two corner nearly 75 per cent of the digital advertising pie.

Addressing the gathering at the forum later in the day, Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook reiterated the point, reminding that two billion people are connected on the platform, which brings an unprecedented responsibility on Facebook.

Ms Sandberg draws a larger picture, which forms the rationale for some of the new controls and changes that Facebook is exerting.

“We take very seriously our responsibility to earn and maintain the trust of people in businesses. We have a simple mission — making the world more connected and giving people the power to share. It is not enough to just connect people; we need to make sure we are bringing people together to do good,” Ms Sandberg stated.

‘Trust’ and ‘mission’, and the significance of being rooted in purpose formed an important part of Sandberg’s address that set the base for not only taking responsibility towards the kind of content Facebook it allows on its platform but also towards the responsibility to the advertisers.

Doubling down on fake news
Perhaps one of the most criticised aspects of Facebook has been the advent of fake news on the platform and that it was monetisable. Facebook has set up ‘Monetisation Eligibility Standards and Content Guidelines’, which introduces monetisation standards for publishers and creators. According to the platform, this will help improve advertising quality in Ad Breaks, Instant Articles, Branded Content and Audience Network and “keep financially-motivated bad actors from profiting off our platform and tools”.

To make money on Facebook in future, content creators and publishers will have to comply with its so-called community standards, which seek to ensure that content is authentic, not offensive and adheres to its guidelines. Facebook will also step up its monitoring of hate speech, adding 3,000 content reviewers to nearly double the size of its existing team.

More clarity & controls for advertisers
In addition to this, Facebook has also said that it is seeking accreditation from the Media Ratings Council and set a timeline of 18 months to audit, review and accredit Facebook measurement in first-party served ad impression reporting, third-party viewability partner integrations and Upon launch, its new two-second video buying option.

At present, Facebook has 24 partners in its measurement system including Oracle Data Cloud, Nielsen, Kantar Millward Brown, as well as three partners measuring viewability: Moat, Integral Ad Science and comScore. It is in the process of adding two new viewability partners — DoubleVerify and Meetrics.

By the end of this year Facebook will also begin to offer Pre-Campaign lists (beginning rollout to advertisers) and Post-Campaign list (beginning rollout in the coming months).

The community approach
For some time now, ‘communities’ and the role they can play has been on Facebook’s radar. One of the primary reasons that people connect on social networks is around connecting on similar interests. Ms Sandberg asserted that communities will play a crucial role in assisting companies in achieving their mission. Facebook’s own mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together gives its a sense of purpose in everything it does, according to her.

She informed that Facebook will continue to invest so that people can build communities. She also said that Facebook will continue to build on its ways in which is enables brands to engage communities, where it is through mobile or social routes.

“People can use the power of technology to connect and work together. We want to help businesses fulfill their mission and help them grow, create jobs, and build and foster community,” she said.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.
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