Meta (formerly Facebook) has equipped brands with more leverage as they can now decide the placement of their ads in the Newsfeed environment. They announced their plans to expand its topic inclusion controls for brands and include a tool for the verification and suitability of brands used by advertisers in the Newsfeed that market in English.
It will allow the advertisers to restrict displaying advertisements on politics, crime, tragedy, and social issues in the Newsfeed. After the Beta testing, it was found that agencies that avoided these topics could avoid adjacencies for around 94-99% in their respective categories. They plan to make this feature live in 2022 and provide continuous updates throughout Q1.
Meta aims to bridge the gap between what they can offer and where they plan to go, i.e. controls based on content. Controls that suit the content are being designed and tested, keeping in mind the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) Suitability Framework standards. They feel that their aim is accurate as they think that the issues by advertisers are being tackled well.
Meta began testing the feature of controls that can exclude certain topics in January 2021 after the issue was lobbied by Omnicom Media Group (OMG). Meta will also give the option to its users to regulate the content shown on its Newsfeed. These features will be Beta tested in a few days to explore the viability and provide updates if needed before launching it worldwide.
These measures result from the whistle-blower’s reports to the WSJ, in which leaked documents reflected the fact that the company was aware of the algorithm and its promotion of divisive and hurtful content. There was no official comment by Meta on this matter.