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Facebook continued to crack down on ad networks this week by updating its advertising guidelines. Starting August 3, ad networks must receive authorization from Facebook to run ads that contain user data, such as names and profile pictures, the company said in a blog post. Facebook’s actions were spurred by recent claims from its users that the social network was letting advertisers post pictures of them without their permission.
The social network’s new authorization policy will shake up the ecosystem of ad networks, as some may not meet Facebook’s standards and will have to change their business models or risk being suspended from the platform. Facebook already banned two ad networks, SocialReach and SocialHour, from its platform last month for posting what the company called “deceptive content” within developers’ applications. The case that sparked outrage from users was when a husband found his wife’s profile picture on an ad for a singles’ dating site. SocialReach and SocialHour had been, until they were banned, among the most popular ad networks among application developers because the companies’ tricky spam ads had higher click-through rates than other ad networks, meaning more cash went into developers’ pockets.
Facebook’s new hardliner advertising guidelines will ultimately help the ad network ecosystem become a more level playing field and push the social marketing industry in the right direction, according to Sharethrough co-founder and COO Dan Greenberg. Sharethrough, which packages and posts shareable ad videos on social sites, has already seen a boost in its business since Facebook banned SocialHour and SocialReach, he said.
Details about Facebook’s new authorization policy are still being ironed out, but AllFacebook points out that “[D]isplay advertising networks like Social Media, RockYou, Slide, Social Cash” may run into trouble with the updated guidelines. Come August 3, we’ll see who will stay on Facebook and who will go.