Two months ago, Facebook tightened the rules on the types of advertising units Platform ad networks could display after user concerns about privacy and Facebook Platform ad networks spread. Since then, user complaints have died down.
However, some Platform ad networks have also seen decreases in their eCPMs lately – over 50% in some cases, according to one Platform ad network executive. Those ad networks that were most affected by the policy changes have expressed to us that their ability to innovate has been too constrained. But is Facebook likely to reverse the new policies any time soon?
Not according to the company. Facebook says allowing the types of advertisements which are now prohibited – those that display user data or a user’s friends in the ad – would lead to bigger long term problems for the sustainability of the Platform and the Platform economy.
“The direct feedback we received that led to the revised policies in July indicated that there was a strong risk users could lose trust in the platform because of the experience they were having with some third-party ad networks,” a Facebook spokesperson told us. “We continue to see developers build thriving businesses on Facebook Platform and will continue to focus on policies that position users, advertisers and developers for success.”
“We are always looking for ways to improve our policies but have no imminent plans to make ad policy adjustments,” Facebook added.
For now, Platform ad networks are still adjusting to the new rules and reoptimizing their algorithms for other ad units. Overall, the challenges in monetizing purely through more traditional advertising on the Facebook Platform are driving more and more developers to invest more heavily in optimizing for virtual currency monetization. The virtual goods economy has been broadly thriving on the Facebook Platform this year.
However, while Facebook says no policy changes are planned, the company says it’s still open for more feedback from Platform ad networks and developers about its advertising policies.
“We are actively reaching out to members of the community to understand how the policies are working,” Facebook tells us. “If there are ideas for changes that would continue to provide the basis for a great user experience while increasing opportunities for developers, we’d be eager to discuss them.”
We’ll keep tracking eCPM trends on the Platform for the developer community. If you have more data to share on what you’re seeing, we’d love to hear from you.