I’ve had some time to think about this . If you’re unaware, Facebook has supposedly made it easier to report fake ads, and donated £3 million to a UK charity after being taken to court by a UK celebrity over misleading ads featuring his image. Now, here’s my thoughts on it in no particular order:
3 million pounds is the equivalent to 90 minutes’ worth of revenue. It’s chump change to them, and my guess is that it’s garnered them millions in publicity anyway seeing as the story was pretty much everywhere. How much do you think that much media exposure would have cost them otherwise?
One report I read claims the amount was ” in cash and Facebook ad credits “. Many, many years ago, I worked in a camera shop. A couple came in and bought several hundred pounds’ worth of equipment for a “once in a lifetime” holiday they were going on. It was around the £5-600 mark if I remember. They asked if there was any chance of a discount, and I offered them 10% off, or £100 worth of films and developing. They took the films, happy that they’d managed a good deal and made the right choice. Here’s the thing though. That £100 I gave away only cost the company about £35. How much of this 3 million is in ad credits that likely cost Facebook a fraction of what they’re selling them for?
The service is only in the UK. Elsewhere, nothing has changed. Ads will still appear, Facebook will still charge to display those ads, just now UK users can report them easier to get them removed.
The money went to set up a service called Citizens Advice Scams Action (Casa). Once that 3 million has been used, what happens then? Do we think Facebook will give more, or walk away leaving a service having to beg for money elsewhere in order to continue running.
Is it a good thing? On the surface, yes. Look a little deeper though, and maybe it’s not quite as good as it’s been made out to be.