Meta Developing 'Basic Ads' With Little Or No Data Targeting

Facebook is developing a product that will not rely on anonymized personal information from users and will be more in line with privacy guidelines set by Europe and U.S. states that have privacy regulations.

“I think it will use a lot less user data visible to the advertiser,” said Marty Weintraub, Aimclear founder and Facebook expert.

The product -- Basic Ads -- is aimed at brand advertisers wanting to build awareness. It focuses on mass marketing, similar to the way a television station targets viewers, Weintraub said.

“One would think that would cost a lot less,” he said. “I come from a broadcast background where I was selling on the five o’clock news, Chia Pets or cruise lines, and car dealerships. The targeting was pretty crude. Thin filtering and mass marketing. You might as well put a billboard on the street.”

If a marketer does that enough, the brand can saturate the marketing based on certain keywords, he added.

The marketing can be effective. Facebook is trying to leverage its massive reach. Weintraub said Facebook should use basic ads to cater to smaller marketers, and provide them with massive marketing for less money.

“We like the idea as long as it’s not expensive, because if it’s expensive we can buy hyper-targeted inventory somewhere else,” he said.

Google has “cool” hyper-targeted inventory in its custom affinity audiences that marketers can use in YouTube or display.

Programmatic has hyper-targeted by way of data patterners. Even Twitter has hyper-targeted audiences.  

“I want to see CPMs at $3,” Weintraub said.

In 2018, Weintraub wrote a post talking about the low cost of mass branding campaigns, targeted with psychographics.

“We discovered about 12 years ago that if we saturated the general population with messages for a good brand, not stupid, works,” he said. “We saw the derogation of the targeting stack 2015.”

One media buyer told Insider that Facebook’s technology would measure the ad with “basic metrics including engagement and video views."

As Insider points out, Vice reported in April that a leaked document referred to “a new, unreleased, product called ‘Basic Ads.’” The authors of the document refer to the technology as a “’short term’ response” to regulatory requirements worldwide. 

Basic Ads is expected to rollout in a test phase initially in Europe, followed by the United States.

Vice reported that “company representatives said the name is an internal codename, and that the product will show that Facebook can build advertising that is relevant to users while preserving their privacy.” 

Apple and Google have made it more difficult to use customer data.

Lotame analyzed the 2022 revenue impact from Apple's privacy changes, and estimates that the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), a random device identifier assigned by the company to a user's device, to have a total impact on companies of about $16 billion -- up 9% from previous estimates.

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