Facebook said that the top 100 spenders contributed 16 percent of its $18.7 billion In revenue In the second quarter, which ended on June 30. During the first three weeks of July, Facebook said, overall ad revenue grew 10 percent over last year, a rate the company expects to continue for the full quarter.
The boycott complicated planning for advertisers. The Kansas-based digital agency DEG had “a whirlwind of a month” as its small to midsize clients grappled with whether they could reach enough customers without Facebook, said Quinn Sheek, its director of media and search. Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram make up more than a third of digital spending for DEG clients.
Of the 60 percent of DEG clients that joined the July boycott, four out of five are planning to return to Facebook In August, with many having “decided it’s too much for them during a difficult economic time to remain off,” Ms. Sheek said. Still, the boycott helped amplify discussion of toxic content on Facebook. The issue was raised In a congressional hearing this past week and In repeated meetings between ad industry representatives and Facebook leaders. In the face of the pressure, Facebook released the results of a civil rights audit last month and agreed to hire a civil rights executive.
“What could really hurt Facebook is the the long-term effect of its perceived reputation and the association with being viewed as a publisher of ‘hate speech’ and other inappropriate content,” Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, the executive vice president of the public opinion analysis company RepTrak, wrote In a post last month.
In addition to the prevalence of hate speech on the platform, its critics have also focused on the company’s treatment of user privacy and foreign election interference.