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  • Writer's pictureRoundabout team

Is Facebook really standing up for SMB, or just misleading them?

There's a heated , end of-the-year- , fight going on in the media between Facebook and Apple.

Facebook is openly accusing Apple of damaging the playing field for advertising , most specific for the SMB markets. The problem? Apple will start users after downloading IOS14 updates, if they like to receive in-app advertising from 3rd party app developers. Like Facebook...

And this completely trashes the tracking methods Facebook is using to hit targeted ads into the FB apps on your iPhone.

Trashing Apple's decision in public through all available channels, even in the most old fashioned way, through a big size news paper ad.

However, is Facebook really standing up for the SMB market?

In new discovered memo's , from recently unsealed court documents, another angle about how FB is treating advertising is appearing.

The documents show internal Facebook documents where staff seem to admit to big flaws in ad targeting capabilities, this includes ads that reached the intended audience less than half of the time and that data behind a targeting criterion was “all crap.”

Facebook claims the material is presented out of context. It's probably a little out of context, but there where smoke appears, most often there's fire too.

The lawsuit was filed by the founder of Investor Village, an SMB company that owns a community on financial topics. Investor Village said in court filings that it decided to buy narrowly targeted Facebook ads because it hoped to reach “highly compensated and educated investors” but “had limited resources to spend on advertising.” But nearly 40 percent of the people who saw Investor Village’s ad either lacked a college degree, did not make $250,000 per year, or both, the company claims. In fact, not a single Facebook user it surveyed met all the targeting criteria it had set for Facebook ads, it says.

A “February 2016 internal memorandum” sent from a Facebook manager to Andrew Bosworth, a an executive responsible for ads at that time, states, “Interest precision in the US is only 41%—that means that more than half the time we’re showing ads to someone other than the advertisers’ intended audience. And it is even worse internationally. … We don’t feel we’re meeting advertisers’ interest accuracy expectations today.”

Another quote from the law suit makes it even more clear and less " out of context"

"One engineer celebrated that detailed targeting accounted for “18% of total ads revenue,” and $14.8 million on June 17th alone. Using a smiley emoticon, an engineering manager responded, “Love this chart! Although if the most popular option is to combine interest and behavior, and we know for a fact our behavior is almost all crap, does this mean we are misleading advertiser [sic] a bit? :)” That manager proceeded to suggest further examination of top targeting criteria to “see if we are giving advertiser [sic] false hope.”

Facebook responded in the law suit by claiming "out of context" and taking the position they have never stated the ads targeting was complete accurate and guaranteed.

We keep you posted on this matter.

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