The internet is awash with political advertising and it’s starting to look like it’s all about to become a little bit more mainstream.
According to data from the firm Data Collective, the number of ad campaigns running on Google and Facebook has grown from 8 percent in 2016 to 10 percent in 2021.
The data firm says it has found that, at the moment, nearly half of all political ads are not in compliance with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules.
It also says that the majority of these ads are running on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
“There’s been a lot of talk in recent weeks about whether Google and YouTube will be required to delete their own political ads or whether Facebook and Twitter will be forced to do the same,” said Jason Daley, senior vice president of public policy at Data Collective.
“In the United States, we see an increasing number of political ads that are running with little or no information to their owners,” Daley said.
Daley says that, with the growth of social media platforms like Facebook and Google, it’s become easier to track the political ads on these platforms.
“The trend of these sites and platforms, with their algorithms and their platforms, is to have the same level of control over the content they show you,” Daly said.
“We’re seeing ads that appear to be sponsored content but are actually being made by advertisers.”
Data Collective’s data reveals that the average YouTube video ad has about 3.5 million views.
“YouTube is still a relatively small and relatively young platform, but it’s already becoming a large and powerful platform,” said Daley.
“You’ve got Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms that are taking over the advertising space.
This is a new and emerging form of advertising, and we’re seeing a lot more of it.”
Daley told the Associated Press that political ads in the US “were on the rise, and the rise is not because of the rise of Facebook, but because of Facebook’s ability to reach the users on the platform, to get them to engage in the politics of the day, to be part of the conversation.”
The AP found that in 2021, the average number of times a YouTube video was viewed on Facebook was over 3,000 times per day.
“A lot of it is Facebook’s algorithms,” said Michael Zuckerman, director of research at Facebook.
“They’re using the algorithms that are in place to target the most engaged and engaged users.”
Zuckman told the AP that the company has created a platform called the Timeline, which allows users to share videos, photos, and audio from their Facebook accounts.
“If a user clicks on a link to a video, Facebook’s platform sends a message that that user is about to see an advertisement that is going to promote the ad and the content in the video,” Zuckeman said.
And, he added, “We’ve seen a very high volume of ads on Facebook that are specifically targeting that very particular demographic, targeting people in their 30s and 40s who are watching TV and don’t necessarily have an active Facebook account.”
Dyson’s research also found that Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are running more political ads than ever before.
According the firm, in 2021 they ran about 3 percent of all ad campaigns on Facebook.
The number of ads running on YouTube increased from 2.2 percent to 3.2 and Instagram saw an increase from 0.9 percent to 1.6 percent.
But Dyson says that a lot is still missing in terms of tracking political ads.
“I would like to see Facebook and YouTube, who control almost the entirety of social advertising in the United Kingdom and Germany, make more transparency about how much of their advertising is political,” he said.
Zuckmann says that in Germany, “the number of social ad clicks per person is only about 1 percent of the total population.”
He says that that number is likely to go down in the future, as more of these ad campaigns will be aimed at younger demographics.
“Our goal is to see more people engaging on these networks,” Zugmann said.
According a study conducted by political ad analytics firm Brandcheck, political ads were the third most popular form of paid media for the first time in 2021: more than 1.1 billion.
Brandcheck said that there are also a lot fewer people participating in the political advertising space in the U.S. than there were a decade ago.
The political advertising industry is booming.
In 2021, social media ads were responsible for 3.4 percent of online advertising revenue, up from 1.7 percent in 2020, according to Brandcheck.
“It’s definitely an issue, and I think it’s a trend that will only continue to grow,” Dyson said.
He added that while the number in the ad market is growing, it is “not enough to replace traditional media,” like newspapers and magazines.
“These are the places that people spend money,