Campaigns are abuzz about the big changes Meta is making to its platforms — starting with their flagship product Facebook. Meta is clearly feeling the heat from TikTok and other emerging platforms and is desperate to maintain its drifting user bases.
As a result, Facebook will be focusing much more on vertical, short-form video. The Home tab will turn into more of a “discovery” area and will include photos, looping videos, and status updates from friends as well as content that is labeled as “Suggested for You.”
For anyone who uses Instagram often, I’m sure this sounds familiar. To view content only from friends, family, or followed pages, people will need to navigate to the Feeds tab.
So what does this mean for causes and candidates as we approach the midterm elections? It’s no coincidence that Meta is making changes (with more to come) ahead of November, given their troubling influence on prior elections domestically and globally.
Our team has been studying the latest announcements. Here’s some advice that we’ve been sharing with clients:
- Vertical, short-form video will be even more prioritized by platforms. As more content in this format floods the digital space, algorithms will push content of the highest quality.
- We encourage campaigns to post all ads and videos organically.
- Captions should always be included on videos and formatted for the platforms.
- Testing prior to full launch is even more critical for successful targeting.
- More changes are on the horizon. We are monitoring conditions for cause and candidate-focused ads. We’ll keep our community posted on our blog, our Twitter feed, and our LinkedIn page as developments arise.
Make no mistake: Meta’s platforms remain important as community builders and info disseminators. In addition to the five points above, we also recommend focusing more attention on relevant Facebook Groups and reaching out to increasingly powerful influencers on Instagram to help amp donations and create more momentum for GOTV programs in this historic election.
Meta is always shifting its algorithm to make political and issue-based advertising challenging and nuanced on its platforms. Savvy organizers and communicators have long understood the necessity of zigging and zagging creatively to ensure sharp performance.
The stakes for our democracy and our freedoms remain high and once more, it’s critical to test before unleashing ads to ensure you’re motivating your target audiences at the appropriate levels.
Catherine Algeri is a SVP of Digital Engagement at Do Big Things, a mission-driven digital agency dedicated to providing the new narrative and new tech that causes and campaigns need now.