New Problems for Facebook’s Privacy and Ever-Delayed Video Ads

Back in August, Morgan Stanley released a report that showed video ads could make billions for Facebook. Even before then there was a lot of buzz about video ads coming to the world’s largest social media network. However, there have been a few snags as of late for the implementation of video ads on Facebook. On top of that, news this morning shows that Facebook is taking a bit of heat for proposed privacy changes that are getting users rather upset.

Facebook Wants Creative Control – Is That a Bad Move?

This morning news broke on Ad Age that Facebook would be delaying its video ads until after the planned month of October. To make matters worse, as Jim Edwards writes on Business Insider, “Facebook wants creative control over the first set of autoplay video ads that will run in your news feed.” That’s quite a demand to make in a field where businesses and agencies need creative control to make advertisements effective. Potential advertisers are not too pleased about this.

As Jim notes, since these video campaigns will likely cost advertisers upwards of $2.5 million, one would assume that the buyers have full control over their advertisements. However, there is a bit of logic behind Facebook’s demands. As Cotton Delo reports on the above-linked Ad Age article, Facebook is “urging brands to create new spots specifically for Facebook that are more social in nature and take advantage of the platform.”

That makes sense, and I think that Facebook will have to push hard to make a case to advertisers to create these “more social” methods of video advertising. Part of this push from Facebook may be out of concern that the video ads could disrupt the normal user’s Facebook experience, especially if they are simply video ads like one would see on television.

Facebook sure is taking their time with this change. Since going public a lot of changes the company made to the platform came about rather quickly. Given the potential revenue stream, it’s good that Facebook is being cautious. However, when it comes to privacy, Facebook is once again characteristically moving too quickly.

Facebook Wants Your Photos

The other news posted this morning about Facebook isn’t a tale of caution. The recurring issue of user privacy is once again causing some problems for the company. It turns out Facebook wants to continue “using your name, profile, photos and likes to help its advertisers to use you – and everything the site knows about you – to shill for their products.” The details of the change in terms of use are a bit complicated, but the above quote comes from a great write-up by Kathy Kristof on CBSNews if you want the finer details.

Facebook has received a bit of outrage from privacy groups and many users since this change was announced. It appears that Facebook is delaying the implementation of this change and taking a look at the complaints it’s receiving, according to a BBC report. Hopefully they reach more agreeable terms of use that keeps users’ privacy intact.

What do you think about Facebook having creative control over video ads? What about its latest privacy problems?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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