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Social shorts: TikTok under fire for discrimination, Facebook enforces special ads restrictions, Twitter expands Brand Surveys



This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Facebook’s anti-ad-fraud efforts, Twitter expands surveys

Facebook takes action against ad fraud. The social media giant filed a lawsuit Wednesday against one entity and two individuals for allegedly operating a hacking campaign targeting accounts on the social network. The alleged hackers are being accused of taking over their victims’ accounts to use their money to buy ads and fraudulent products, according to the lawsuit. Facebook said it’s paid more than $4 million in reimbursements to victims of these hacks. The company said it will continue to work toward mitigating malicious behavior on the platform, adding, “Creating real-world consequences for those who deceive users and engage in cloaking schemes is important in maintaining the integrity of our platform.”

Twitter expands access to Brand Surveys. In a play to give marketers more ways to measure campaign lift, Twitter announced this week the general availability of Brand Surveys for all managed accounts in the U.S., UK, Canada, Japan and Brazil. According to Twitter, the tool can be used to help inform and improve campaigns with the added benefit of being a first-party solution, which Twitter says allows the platform to offer “a low minimum media spend requirement while still delivering statistically significant results.”

Facebook now enforces restrictions for special ad categories on all platforms

This week, Facebook announced it will be officially enforcing audience targeting restrictions for ‘Special Ad Categories’ across all of its ad management tools, including Ads Manager, Instagram Promote, the Facebook Marketing API, and ads created within Facebook Pages.

The special ad category requirement is used for ads related to housing, employment, or credit opportunities, prohibiting these advertisers from targeting ads based on age, gender, ZIP code or multicultural affinity. The effort is a move on Facebook’s part to curb discrimination by advertisers. The ‘Special Ads Category’ was first introduced earlier this year for U.S. advertisers running housing, employment, and credit ad campaigns via Facebook’s Ads Manager. Starting this week, Facebook is expanding the requirements to all of its ad buying platforms, including Ads Manager app, Instagram Promote and the Facebook Marketing API.

Facebook said it’s also making these ads available to view and search in the platform’s Ad Archive – an effort to deliver further transparency. Users will be able to view all active housing opportunity ads in the U.S. that started running on or after December 4, 2019, regardless of whether the user is part of the target audience. Users will also be able to search the Ad Archive by the name of the Page running an ad, or by the city or state where the ad is targeted.

Facebook’s efforts to remove ad targeting options for housing, employment and credit advertisers are the result of a settlement the company reached with civil rights groups earlier this year, which charged Facebook with allowing discriminatory ads on its platform. Facebook first began rolling out the restrictions in March.

TikTok admits to taking the “wrong approach” to combat cyberbullying

TikTok faces discrimination backlash. The popular video-sharing app has admitted to censoring posts from users it identified as disabled, fat or LGBTQ+ as part of a misguided effort to mitigate cyberbullying. The revelation was made public by, which spoke to a source inside the company and obtained private documents from the platform. The findings revealed that TikTok applied automatic restrictions to users who were “susceptible to bullying or harassment based on their physical or mental condition,” including, “facial disfigurement, autism, Down syndrome, or disabled people or people with some facial problems.” In a follow-up statement, TikTok said, “Early on, in response to an increase in bullying on the app, we implemented a blunt and temporary policy. While the intention was good, the approach was wrong and we have long since changed the earlier policy in favor of more nuanced anti-bullying policies and in-app protections.” According to, the rules were implemented as recently as September of this year.


Twitter rolls out a privacy hub. Twitter launched the Twitter Privacy Center – a centralized resource that advertisers and users can use to quickly and easily access the platform’s rules and policies – as well as personal data settings and privacy tools. The new site will contain information about Twitter’s initiatives, announcements, and privacy products, in addition to status updates on security-related incidents. “It should be easier to find and learn more about the work we’re doing to keep your data secure, including what data we collect, how we use it, and the controls you have,” the company wrote in a blog post.

Chrome extension shows Instagram Likes, Facebook tests “Favorites,” Snapchat couples up with Verizon

Return of the Like? Instagram is still testing hiding Likes – but a new Chrome extension from SocialInsider wants to give users the ability to view them again. Once added to your Chrome browser, the extension displays the number of likes and comments for any post on Instagram. The installation terms state that user data is not shared with Socialinsider servers.

Facebook tests a feature similar to ‘Close Friends.’ Rumor has it the social network is experimenting with a new option that allows users to share their Facebook and Messenger Stories with a “Favorite” group of friends – rather than sharing with everyone. The feature bears a striking resemblance to Instagram’s ‘Close Friends’ feature, which adds a layer of privacy and speed for users who choose to share content with only a select group.

Snapchat to be preloaded on some Verizon phones. Last week, Verizon and Snap announced a partnership that involves Verizon preloading the Snapchat app onto some of its 5G phones as part of a campaign promoting the 5G network. Snap will give Verizon ad placement in its Snap Originals programming, and it will also work with Verizon’s 5G Labs to build augmented reality experiences for live events and Verizon marketing activations. As Snapchat makes efforts to ramp up its AR capabilities (with plans to eventually roll out a wearable component), Verizon’s 5G speeds coupled with Snapchat’s audience reach could make the brand’s AR aspirations a reality. Get ready, advertisers.

About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.



5 Effective Ways to Run Facebook Ads A/B Tests




Facebook Ads A/B Tests or split tests help them try different versions of ads with various campaign elements. This process helps them arrive at the best version for the organization’s target. 

A/B Tests offer a vast pool of resources to try out various versions. You may get caught up and lose your way to arriving at the best version in a limited time. To better understand this topic you can read the Facebook ad testing guide. Here are five effective ways to run Facebook Ads A/B Tests-

1) Start with the minimal number of variables

This approach will help you analyze the impact of a variable much better. The lesser the variables, the better will be the relevant results and more conclusive. Once you have various versions, you will need to run them through the A/B Significance Test to determine if the test results are valid.

2) The second way is to select the correct structure. 

There are two structures in A/B tests. One is a single ad test, and the other is multiple single variation ad sets. All the variations will go under one ad set in the first structure. Each variation will be under a separate ad set in the second one. Out of the two, the second one works out to be better and gives better results.

3) Use of spreadsheets is important to stay organized. 


These spreadsheets help collect and analyze data to get meaningful insights and arrive at data-backed decisions.

4) Do target advertising and set realistic time goals. 

One approach is to choose an entirely new set of audiences. Also, the data pool should be vast and not the same as some existing campaigns. The reason for choosing a different audience is that Facebook may mix up your ads and give contaminated output. 

Another approach to choosing the right audience is to pick geography. It works better, especially when you have business in a particular region.   

It’s also essential to set a realistic timeline for your testing. Facebook suggests one should run a test for at least four days, but you can choose to run the test for up to 30 days.   

5) Set an ideal budget. 

The concept of a perfect budget is subjective. But, you can fix it yourself, or Facebook can do that for you based on your testing data. A large part of the test budget is spent on avoiding audience duplication. If the same audience sees variations, it could affect the test results.

Besides these top five effective ideas, you will need to take a few more action points to make the testing process efficient. Make sure you put the website’s domain link and not the landing page link in the ad, as that doesn’t look good. Put appropriate Call To Action Button, such as ‘Learn More,’ ‘Buy Now,’ etc. It’s also important to see how your ad is coming across on various electronic gadgets- mobile, tablets, etc.


Another strategy that works is trying to engage the customer. You may add social engagement buttons such as ‘Like’ or ‘Comment.’ Use high-resolution images as they work better with the customers. Low-quality, highly edited images are often not liked and trusted by the consumers.

You can learn more about the audience behavior patterns with A/B test results. Conducting these tests on Facebook streamlines the entire process and makes it smooth for you. With the test results, advertisers and marketers can work on the creatives they need to utilize.

To sum it up, you can run an effective A/B test campaign within the specified budget. You don’t need to spend massive amounts to get your advertisement right. You’ll make the correct assumptions about the performance of variations with a good understanding of business and consumers.

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