News of its data misuse is not good timing for Facebook -- especially heading into TV’s upfront/newfront advertising selling season.
The misuse of Facebook users' information -- now possibly affecting 87 million people -- comes at a time when billions of advertising dollars will be spent on traditional TV broadcast and cable networks, as well as national syndication TV companies.
Facebook is still projected to see 20% to 30% gains when it comes to advertising revenues. And you know why? There is no alternative social-media platform for small- and medium-sized advertisers that is as effective as Facebook.
Initially, while some advertisers had concerns over issues stemming from Cambridge Analytica's illegal use of Facebook user data, none took action -- until recently.
“We’ve seen a few advertisers pause with us, and they’re asking the same questions that other people are asking,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said recently. “They want to make sure they can use data and use it safely.”
But that’s just in the short term. Many predict Facebook will weather this storm.
The issue comes down to Facebook’s long-term advertising goal -- getting big, TV-centric brand advertisers on board in a big way. For Facebook and Google, the big target is the overall $70 billion TV advertising market, $20 billion of which goes to national TV platforms.
Data issues will remain for the short term -- and not just for Facebook. Many believe that other digital platforms will feel some of the effects as well.
All this comes after the last two years of a TV upfront advertising market in which brand safety, transparency and other issues have dinged some digital platforms.
This resulted in a slight improvement (versus a decline) in upfront advertising revenue for traditional TV networks and other national programming. Many expect this year's marketplace to see similar -- or slightly better -- results.
No TV pausing here.