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Facebook is Working to Keep its Systems Operating, Seeing Lower Ad Spend Amid COVID-19 Lockdowns

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With billions of people on virtual lockdown in their homes, it’ll come as no surprise that Facebook is seeing a massive increase in activity within its apps.

But even so, the actual numbers are significant – according to Facebook, over the last few weeks, it’s seen:

  • Total messaging increases of more than 50%, across both WhatsApp and Messenger
  • An increase of 70% in Messenger group video calls, and more than double the regular demand for video calls in WhatsApp
  • Overall U.S. traffic from Facebook to other websites has increased by more than 50% week-on-week

​​On one hand, this is positive news for The Social Network, boosting its all-important engagement stats. But Facebook has also noted that the increased traffic has put increased strain on its network, and that it’s now working hard to keep its systems running amidst unprecedented demand.

As per Facebook:

“During this emergency, we’re doing everything we can to keep our apps fast, stable and reliable. Our services were built to withstand spikes during events such as the Olympics or on New Year’s Eve. However, those happen infrequently, and we have plenty of time to prepare for them. The usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage almost every day.”

Facebook also notes that staffing shifts, required as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns, have reduced its capacity to respond to issues related to traffic increases.

“We are working to keep our apps running smoothly, while also prioritizing features such as our COVID-19 Information Center on Facebook as well as the World Health Organization’s Health Alert on WhatsApp. We’re monitoring usage patterns carefully, making our systems more efficient, and adding capacity as required.”

In other words, you may experience some issues with Facebook’s apps at some stage.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted the same during his press call last week;

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“We’re trying to make sure that we can stay in front of this challenge. Right now, this isn’t a massive outbreak in every country around the world, but if it gets there, then we really need to make sure we’re on top of this from an infrastructure perspective and make sure that we can continue to provide the level of service that people need in a time like this.”

As it works to maintain system uptime, and cater to rising demand, Facebook has also made changes to its service in order to reduce overall network loads, and avoid overloading local bandwidth. Late last week, Facebook joined YouTube in reducing the quality of its video streams from HD to SD by default, a setting which, Facebook says, is now in place in “certain regions”.

And similar to Twitter, Facebook also notes that while it is seeing increased usage, and it’s working harder than ever to maintain its systems, it’s also seeing less demand for its ad products as a result of the various shutdowns and closures.

“Much of the increased traffic is happening on our messaging services, but we’ve also seen more people using our feed and stories products to get updates from their family and friends. At the same time, our business is being adversely affected like so many others around the world. We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement, and we’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Facebook did, of course, generate more than $70 billion in ad revenue in 2019, so it’s not exactly struggling to maintain its operations. But still, it is interesting to note the broader impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they’re effecting Facebook and other social platforms.

On the face of it, you likely equate more usage to more revenue for the social giants, but evidently that’s not the case in this instance.

Hopefully, Facebook is able to maintain its systems and keep everything running, but it is worth noting that, as COVID-19 continues to spread, that may cause issues for your favorite app.

In the midst of the crisis, the key social media platforms have shown, once again, that they now play a critical role in keeping us connected, keeping us informed and keeping us entertained as we need. In some ways, that connectivity has lead to problems, but it’s also helping to keep us together as a society, and to maintain social connection at a time where we need it most.

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Facebook, whether you like it or not, is central to this. And as it continues to play a key role in connection, it’s only going to become a more essential service.

Socialmediatoday.com

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5 Effective Ways to Run Facebook Ads A/B Tests

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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. 

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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.

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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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