Good morning, did the Facebook ads boycott make a dent? 

Despite the groundswell of support and participation from more than 1,100 major Facebook advertisers, it looks like Facebook saw little impact from the Stop Hate for Profit ad boycott. It also appears as though the social tech giant won’t be making many of the concessions boycott organizers called for – the majority of which have not been met. 

Data from Facebook and Pathmatics indicates that the top 100 advertisers (by spend) account for only about 6% of the company’s total ad revenue. However, a survey by Digiday reported that 56% of agency clients had stopped spending on Facebook in July because of the boycott; 40% continued to spend and 4% were unsure. Either way, many of the brands that fled for the boycott will resume campaigns in August despite misgivings about the platform. 

So, did the boycott work? Not really – but it did resurface important conversations around Facebook’s content policies at a time when the company is under heightened scrutiny amid antitrust investigations.

There’s more below, including a look at TikTok’s new $200 million fund for creators. 

Taylor Peterson,
Deputy Editor


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Social Shorts

TikTok pulls the curtain back on its algorithm; calls out Facebook’s copycat behavior

TikTok has received even more scrutiny than other tech giants “due to the company’s Chinese origins,” TikTok’s recently-appointed U.S.-based CEO Kevin Mayer wrote in a blog post this week as the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google were called to testify in an antitrust hearing. 

In an effort to give users and regulators “peace of mind,” said Meyer, TikTok has launched a Transparency and Accountability Center in which experts can observe TikTok’s moderation policies “in real-time” and “examine the actual code that drives our algorithms.”

Meyer also called out Facebook for “launching another copycat product, Reels” on Instagram and made the case that TikTok offers American advertisers choice in the market.

The company announced a $200 million fund for American creators on the platform, with plans to grow it to more than $1 billion in the U.S. and more than $2 billion globally in the next three years to help it compete for talent against YouTube and Instagram.

Why we care. Even as its popularity swells, regulatory scrutiny and action could scare away advertisers and critically harm TikTok’s nascent advertising business. Meyer’s overture of transparency does not appear to have swayed legislators. In a bipartisan move Thursday, two U.S. senators asked the Justice Department to investigate Chinese-owned TikTok (as well as Zoom) over reports it has shared user data with China, a charge TikTok denies. Further, while TikTok should be applauded for exposing its algorithm, its competitors are likely to scoff at its suggestion that “all companies should disclose their algorithms, moderation policies, and data flows to regulators.” 


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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

Congress zeroes in on Google during historic tech antitrust hearing – CNET

The Potential In Programmatic OTT: Business Outcomes Vs. GRPs – AdExchanger

Apple Halved App Store Fee to Get Amazon Prime Video on Devices – Bloomberg

China’s Artificial Intelligence Surveillance State Goes Global – The Atlantic

‘The sky hasn’t fallen’: Publishers’ programmatic revenues vault back up in June and July – Digiday