By Mark Eting
Bullseye Strategy Special Correspondent
We do our best to cover all aspects of digital marketing news in our Bullseye Buzz, from search engine optimization antics to the latest in influencer marketing. But this week, the headlines were all about Facebook Facebook Facebook. (Mark Zuckerberg, are your ears ringing?) Some of the news was good (good for Facebook and good for advertisers), some of it was bad (bad for Facebook, possibly good for advertisers) and some of it was…aesthetically challenged.
The Good: News Feed Ads & Desktop Refresh
Facebook is solving for two very big but very different problems this week: shopping cart abandonment from users who’d rather not wrangle with leaving the app to checkout on a business’s website; and desktop Facebook users who find the UI not particularly conducive to their increased Facebook Groups participation. To tackle the $213 billion in sales lost from customers bouncing from off-feed checkout, new News Feed ads make it easy to buy those boots and hit “like” on Aunt Nancy’s new cat meme post without ever leaving Facebook. And for those of us who are surreptitiously checking in on our high school reunion FB group at work when we’re supposed to be, oh, I don’t know, proofreading a Powerpoint, the planned desktop layout improvement will make engaging in groups a much more user-friendly experience.
The Bad: Facebook Antitrust Probe
Now for a dark cloud hanging over Facebook–that likely contains a glittering silver lining for Facebook advertisers. Nine states are launching an anti-trust investigation into the big blue giant, looking into whether Facebook has used its market dominance to unfairly drive up advertising prices. With 2.7 billion active monthly users spread among Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, there’s no question that Facebook is the market leader, and their prices have steadily increased. We’re curious (OK, we’ll admit it: hopeful) that the results of this probe will mean more affordable advertising for our clients.
The Ugly: Facebook Dating App
What’s actually “ugly” about Facebook’s new dating app, which makes official the courtship that’s been going on for years through messaging of friends of friends who noticed your adorable profile when you wished a mutual acquaintance a happy birthday? It’s not the bachelors and bachelorettes in the 19 countries where this feature is now available. However, Facebook Dating has two tools that have been criticized for enabling cheating: the removal of your relationship status, so you can stay “Facebook coupled” while actively seeking side action, and it doesn’t match you with anyone you’re friends with. That means your wife’s sister won’t be able to see that you’re looking for love elsewhere, keeping you out of the proverbial dog house. There is a feature, though, called “Secret Crush,” where you can opt in to add up to 9 friends you’re crushing on; if you’re both on each other’s lists, you’ll get an alert. That is kind of cute.
“Mark Eting” is the pen name of the Bullseye Strategy team. Check back with us next week for more news on what’s buzzing in the digital marketing industry