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Facebook Continues to Escalate Legal Proceedings Over Platform Violations

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Facebook is taking legal action against a company which used Facebook posts and ads to trick users into downloading malware, in order to steal their personal information.

As explained by Facebook:

The defendants deceived people into installing malware available on the internet. This malware then enabled the defendants to compromise people’s Facebook accounts and run deceptive ads promoting items such as counterfeit goods and diet pills.”

Facebook’s filing implies that ILikeAd Media International Company Ltd. aimed to trick people into installing such malware by using images of celebrities in their ads to entice people to click on them – “a practice known as “celeb bait.”

“In some instances, the defendants also engaged in a practice known as cloaking. Through cloaking, the defendants deliberately disguised the true destination of the link in the ad by displaying one version of an ad’s landing page to Facebook’s systems and a different version to Facebook users.”

The case is just the latest in Facebook’s increasing legal action against platform misuse. Back in March, Facebook filed suit against several companies over the sale of fake followers and likes, following a ruling by New York’s Attorney General that selling fake social media followers and likes is essentially illegal. In August, Facebook launched another set of legal proceedings against two app developers over ‘click injection fraud’, which simulates clicks in order to extract ad revenue.

Facebook’s increase in legal action over specific, on-platform practices like these underlines the growing importance of social media in the broader business space. Up till now, such processes have been largely left out of legal consideration because they’re isolated and difficult to enforce – but with so much at stake in the digital marketing sector, Facebook, and others, are looking to establish precedents to map out more clear legal boundaries.

And that can only be a good thing for the digital marketing sector. Digital fakes and frauds like this cloud the available metrics, which can be especially important in practices like influencer marketing, where buying fakes can inflate your perceived level of sway in certain spaces. 

If Facebook can use such filings to help establish more clear cut legal boundaries, and penalties, that will act as a significant deterrent to such practices. 

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Scammers will always find new ways to cheat, but setting stronger stances against such is key in improving the integrity of the sector. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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Instagram Tests Out New Ad Options, Including Explore Placement and Interactive AR Displays

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Instagram Tests Out New Ad Options, Including Explore Placement and Interactive AR Displays

As we head into the holiday shopping push, Instagram has announced that it’s testing out some new ad options, in the hopes of maximizing its revenue intake, while also providing new opportunities for brands.

Though I can’t imagine that these will be entirely popular additions with users.

First off, Instagram’s adding new ads into Explore, with the first page of Explore now set to feature a new ad unit in the content feed.

As you can see in this example, that’s a pretty big ad. Instagram hasn’t clarified if all of these new Explore ads will be featured as prominently as this, but the option will provide another means to reach IG users ‘in the earliest stages of discovering new content they care about’.

It could be a good consideration, with a chance to get your products featured in the main discovery feed in the app.

Instagram’s also testing ads in profile feed – ‘which is the feed experience that people can scroll through after visiting another account’s profile and tapping on a post’.

So now, if you check out someone’s profile, and tap on a post, you’ll also be eligible to be served ads in that dedicated stream of their content, essentially inserting ads into another surface in the app.

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Instagram’s also looking into whether this option could also be used as a monetization opportunity for creators, as that activity will be tied back to an individual profile and content.

Instagram’s also testing what it’s calling ‘Multi-Advertiser Ads’, which will display more promotions from similar businesses to users after they’ve engaged with an ad.

Instagram ad updates

As per Instagram:

“When a person expresses commercial intent by engaging with an ad, we deliver more ads from other businesses that may be of interest, powered by machine learning.”

So Instagram’s looking to push even more related businesses at you, stacking ads upon ads. I don’t know how effective that will be, but in theory, it could get your brand in front of interested users based on previous ad engagement.

Finally, Instagram’s also launched an open beta of its AR Ads, which will be available in both feed and Stories in the app.

Instagram ads update

As you can see here, Instagram’s AR ads, built in its Spark AR platform, will invite users to interact with their ad content, which could also include positioning virtual furniture in their home, or test driving a car in the app.

Which Meta also says will help brands align with future engagement shifts:

“By giving businesses tools to create more personalized and immersive experiences today we’ll help them drive performance and prepare for the metaverse.”

I mean, AR and the metaverse, which is largely VR-based (going on the examples we’ve seen thus far) are not the same thing, but the creation of 3D objects will play a part in that next stage, and could help to advance your thinking on ad approaches.

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These are some interesting ad considerations, but they’ll also see a lot more promotions being squeezed into your Instagram feeds, which, as noted, likely won’t be welcomed by users.

But with parent company Meta under rising pressure, Instagram has to do its part. And while leaning into further Reels, and forcing in more ads, may not be a great play, long-term, the usage and engagement data will ultimately tell the tale.



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