Facebook Has Faced Worse Blowback; Where Brands Are Spending Instead

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The Facebook Unfriend

How at-risk is Facebook, really, from the flurry of brands suspending ad campaigns? Facebook has weathered worse. Its market cap plummeted $43 billion in one day in 2018, after reports of the Cambridge Analytica data violations, but bounced back within two months. A disappointing earnings report later in 2018 caused a $119 billion sell-off, which took a year to claw back from. In the past week, Facebook has dropped about $7 billion. As Axios reports, even the largest advertisers are marginal parts of Facebook’s overall ad spend, and there are millions of small businesses and other brands, so there’s no lack of competition for impressions. Facebook stock is also buoyed by bullish investors who have seen it rebound before and will buy any dip in value.

Outside The Blue Walls

Where are Facebook ad boycotters spending their dollars instead? Facebook and Instagram were projected to collect almost a quarter of digital ad budgets this year prior to the boycott, per eMarketer. So far, other large social media platforms seem to be the biggest beneficiaries, The Wall Street Journal reports. Backpack brand JanSport is shifting more of its back-to-school campaign to TikTok and YouTube. The North Face plans to increase spend with Google and Pinterest. Eddie Bauer will index higher with Google and Amazon search. But budgets won’t just flow between walled gardens. Programmatic display ads, sponsored content and affiliate marketing could see gains as well. The important tests will come later, when brands measure the impact on sales and ROI without Facebook in the mix.

Apple Puts The Shine On

Apple has mostly avoided US tech antitrust scrutiny. But that’s changing. Apple faces antitrust probes in the EU and the United States, and a pack of developers (notably Facebook, Spotify, Netflix, Tinder and Epic Games, maker of the hit game Fortnite) protest its 30% cut of iOS revenue. “Our efforts to help developers succeed are broad, deep and ongoing, and they extend to apps – in music, email, or a variety of other categories – that compete with some aspect of our business,” said Daniel Matray, Apple’s head of App Store and media services in Europe, during a virtual conference on Tuesday, Bloomberg reports. Matray also said that 85% of apps pay no commissions, and Apple invests heavily in quality and innovation to meet baseline standards.

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