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Meta Is Betting On Three Acronyms: AI, ML And PETs

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Marne Levine, chief business officer, Meta

Advantage+ didn’t come up during Meta’s Q4 earnings call on Wednesday, but it’s the ad product Chief Business Officer Marne Levine says she’s most excited about.

As of December, Meta hit a $4 billion annual run rate for Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns less than a year after launch, making it the company’s fastest-growing AI-powered product, Levine told AdExchanger.

Meta consolidated all of its automated ad products under the Advantage+ banner in March 2022, including lookalike expansion, automated app ads and automatic placements in addition to newer products, such as Advantage+ shopping campaigns, which came out of beta over the summer.

Advantage+ uses a combination of automation and machine learning algorithms to inform targeting, bid pricing, ad placements and creative optimization across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and the Meta Audience Network.

For example, Meta’s models will learn and optimize based on which creative in a campaign is performing best with customers depending on where they are in their shopping journey.

Although advertisers do have to relinquish some control when they hand the reins over to a machine, they get a boost in performance as the trade-off.

“What we’re hearing from businesses is that they want to make it easier to test and learn,” said Levine, who noted that Advantage+ is helping boost adoption of Meta’s newer ad formats, including Reels, shop ads and click-to-message ads.

But doubling down on automation is also one of the main ways Meta is revamping its ad stack to grapple with the fallout from Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency framework (specifically) and signal loss (more generally).

On Wednesday, Meta CFO Susan Li told investors that there is “still certainly an absolute headwind to our revenue number” as a result of ATT, although Meta has been “making progress” with its efforts to mitigate the impact.

But there’s still a heck of a lot of work to do, and platform policy changes are only a piece. Regulators around the world have their attention squarely focused on the large ad platforms, including Meta and its family of apps.

Having read the room, Meta is investing in AI to develop and deploy privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) to underpin its ad platform.

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The platform already has several PETs in various stages of development, including private lift measurement, which uses multiparty computation to track campaign performance while simultaneously limiting what data advertisers are able to access.

Meta has been testing private lift with a subset of brands, Levine said, and now some of its largest advertisers are using the tool.

“ATT is still having an impact on our business,” she said, “but we have a multiyear strategy focused on improving performance for advertisers.”

For more articles featuring Marne Levine, click here.

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