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Facebook Is the Only Game in Town for Digital Political Ads

TikTok and Twitter won’t take campaign money, so Meta’s social network remains the default winner, even though strategists say the platform is losing its effectiveness.

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Illustration: Nichole Shinn for Bloomberg Businessweek

Beth Becker had just finished teaching Democrats how to use Facebook’s digital tools at the Netroots conference in Pittsburgh in mid-August when she heard about a protest taking place down the hall. Angry demonstrators were targeting the befuddled and apologetic employees of Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms Inc., who were manning a booth to explain how cool the metaverse will be.

Becker, who runs her own digital strategies firm, says she understands why people were upset about Meta sponsoring a progressive gathering after years of infuriating reports on the company’s content moderation failures and data missteps. But she says other digital platforms offer nowhere near Meta’s political advertising options. “We still have to use Facebook,” she says. “Most of the other platforms won’t take our money.”