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Facebook May Soon Offer Campaign Budget Optimization Across Platforms, Not Just Ad Sets

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This is interesting – Facebook has published a new research paper that outlines its proposed new approach which would enable it to essentially offer Campaign Budget Optimization across multiple platforms from one ad campaign, as opposed to being confined to a single app.

The new process seeks to provide more, simplified alternatives to automated ad bidding, thereby optimizing ad spend across various apps from a single budget stream.

As explained by Facebook:

Consider an advertiser who uses the Facebook platform to advertise a product. They have a daily budget that they would like to spend on our platform. Advertisers want to reach users where they spend time, so they spread their budget over multiple platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and others. They want an algorithm to help bid on their behalf on the different platforms and are increasingly relying on automation products to help them achieve it.”

The problem, Facebook says, is that as the digital ad landscape becomes more crowded, advertisers are increasingly looking to diversify their ad spend, based on where their audience is active. So ideally, they would be able to ensure they’re allocating budget to the right platforms to reach their target market, as opposed to spending too much on one or the other.

The concept of Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) is that it automatically allocates your assigned ad budget across your chosen Facebook ad sets, in order to ensure that the best performers see the most spend, thereby giving you the best bang for your ad buck.

But with this new process, you would also be able to ensure the same, across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger (theoretically), all from a single, streamlined campaign.

“The algorithm is given a total budget (e.g., the daily budget) and a time horizon over which this budget should be spent. At each time-step, the algorithm should decide the bid it will associate with each of the platform, which will be input into the auctions for the next set of requests on each of the platforms. At the end of a round (i.e., a sequence of requests), the algorithm sees the total reward it obtained (e.g., number of clicks) and the total budget that was consumed in the process, on each of the different platforms. Based on just this history, the algorithm should decide the next set of bid multipliers it needs to place.”

The full 24-page research paper is technically dense, with lots of references to data modeling and ‘Stochastic Bandits’:

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“Let yt(i) = λt(i)/k λt k1 , i = 1, . . . , d be the normalized cost of the resources. For a parameter ∈ [0, 1], for every vector y, for any sequence of payoff vectors c1, . . . , cτ ∈ [0, 1]d , Hedge’s guarantee gives.”

Yeah, a lot of that, so it’s difficult for non-experts to ascertain a full understanding of the process, but the basics are that the option, if it’s fully implemented, will provide more ways for advertisers to maximize their ad spend, while also decreasing workload.

Adoption of automated products that perform many of the targeting, placement, and creative optimization elements on advertisers’ behalf is rapidly rising. […]The advantage of using the proposed algorithm is that the bidding is near-optimal thus, getting the most value for their spend. This has benefits for both the individual advertiser and the overall ecosystem.” 

Indeed, many advertisers are seeing significantly better results when relying on automated bidding, as the ad systems at Google and Facebook, in particular, get better at understanding the key signals that will drive improved performance.

That means simpler ad processes, delivering better results, and while all such processes could potentially be impacted by the coming IDFA changes on iOS, being able to utilize CBO across platforms could be a valuable addition to your approach. 

You can check out the full research here.

Socialmediatoday.com

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UK teen died after ‘negative effects of online content’: coroner

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Molly Russell was exposed to online material 'that may have influenced her in a negative way'

Molly Russell was exposed to online material ‘that may have influenced her in a negative way’ – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Philip FONG

A 14-year-old British girl died from an act of self harm while suffering from the “negative effects of online content”, a coroner said Friday in a case that shone a spotlight on social media companies.

Molly Russell was “exposed to material that may have influenced her in a negative way and, in addition, what had started as a depression had become a more serious depressive illness,” Andrew Walker ruled at North London Coroner’s Court.

The teenager “died from an act of self-harm while suffering depression”, he said, but added it would not be “safe” to conclude it was suicide.

Some of the content she viewed was “particularly graphic” and “normalised her condition,” said Walker.

Russell, from Harrow in northwest London, died in November 2017, leading her family to set up a campaign highlighting the dangers of social media.

“There are too many others similarly affected right now,” her father Ian Russell said after the ruling.

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“At this point, I just want to say however dark it seems, there is always hope.

“I hope that this will be an important step in bringing about much needed change,” he added.

The week-long hearing became heated when the family’s lawyer, Oliver Sanders, took an Instagram executive to task.

A visibly angry Sanders asked Elizabeth Lagone, the head of health and wellbeing at Meta, Instagram’s parent company, why the platform allowed children to use it when it was “allowing people to put potentially harmful content on it”.

“You are not a parent, you are just a business in America. You have no right to do that. The children who are opening these accounts don’t have the capacity to consent to this,” he said.

Lagone apologised after being shown footage, viewed by Russell, that “violated our policies”.

Of the 16,300 posts Russell saved, shared or liked on Instagram in the six-month period before her death, 2,100 related to depression, self-harm or suicide, the inquest heard.

Children’s charity NSPCC said the ruling “must be a turning point”.

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“Tech companies must be held accountable when they don’t make children’s safety a priority,” tweeted the charity.

“This must be a turning point,” it added, stressing that any delay to a government bill dealing with online safety “would be inconceivable to parents”.

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