- Ads from politicians and campaigns accounted for at least 3% of Facebook’s estimated third-quarter U.S. revenue, according to data from Facebook’s ad library and the Center for Responsive Politics.
- Google has dramatically limited targeting for political ads and Twitter banned them altogether, leaving Facebook as the only game in town for many campaigns.
- “For better or worse — mostly worse — Facebook is the de facto place you go,” said Nick Fitz, CEO of online donations site Momentum, which powers the Defeat by Tweet campaign.
Anti-Trump super PAC Defeat by Tweet launched in June and has run up an advertising bill of more than $800,000 with an online campaign that encourages people to automatically donate money every time the president tweets.
Thanks to Trump’s habitual tweeting, the group has parlayed its spending into about $3 million of fundraising. However, none of that ad spending has been on Twitter. Instead, it’s taking place exclusively on rival social media site Facebook.
Defeat by Tweet is far from alone. Scores of political candidates and outside groups have loaded up on Facebook spending ahead of next month’s election. That’s partly because Facebook reaches over a quarter-billion users in North America every month and has a family of popular apps, including Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. But it’s also because many other ad-supported sites have retreated from politics, leaving Facebook as the only game in town.
Google, the largest internet advertising company, limited the ability for campaigns to target users with political ads. Twitter banned political advertising altogether after CEO Jack Dorsey proclaimed last October that “political message reach