Despite Facebook's long and storied history, it may have reached a point where its future is in doubt. The company is facing several major challenges, including political controversy, regulatory scrutiny, and antitrust lawsuits. This is not to mention the fact that the internet is undergoing a secular shift and digital ads are on the rise.
Facebook has a massive trove of user data, and the company has developed several technologies that can help advertisers target their messages to the right people. It also has a platform that allows businesses of all sizes to advertise. And, it has a robust reporting system that can provide useful information to marketers.
However, the biggest challenge to Facebook is not from the government, but from other competitors in the space. Apple and Google have been the subject of numerous antitrust suits, and there are plenty of other challenges on the horizon. Aside from the usual regulatory hurdles, advertisers have to adjust to a new digital ad landscape.
One of the most notable changes is that Facebook is no longer a direct competitor in the direct response space, thanks to Snap. While Snap's business is still a notch below Facebook's, it demonstrates the potential of a more integrated strategy.
Another significant change is that Apple has begun comparing links to websites to signs in their own apps. For example, instead of displaying ads for products you may already own, Apple will now display ads for products you haven't yet acquired. Similarly, Apple has introduced a pop-up window in its iPhone apps.
Facebook's marketing has improved over the years, and its latest innovations include a chatbot to help salespeople connect with consumers, and the ability to place ads in Reels, Stories, and even the Feed. But while these improvements help marketers get their message to consumers, they are not a replacement for the old fashioned one-on-one approach.
Perhaps the most important innovation of all is the ad exchange, where Facebook can share information with other advertisers. As the largest ad exchange in the world, Facebook has a lot of data about its users, which it can share with other advertising platforms.
One of the best parts of the ad exchange is that it can be used to display advertisements that are relevant to your specific demographic. For example, you can buy a drink from an upscale bar that only serves wines made from grapes grown in the region. In the past, you had to pay to see these ads, but now you can see them on your timeline.
There are a variety of other changes to come in the next year. Google and Facebook will both make up around 57% of mobile ad spend. They also have a slew of other announcements on the horizon, including more advanced AI that will make it easier for advertisers to reach the right audience.