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Publishers Have A Window Of Opportunity To Change Google And Facebook



by AdExchanger

Data-Driven Thinking is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Mike Shaughnessy, COO at Kargo.

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As we come out of the fog of 2020, we must remember the five incredibly important investigations happening right now that affect the way content is discovered, consumed and paid for.

First, a striking US lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission alleges that Facebook is a monopoly and demands its break up. Second, ten states are suing Google for anti-competitive behavior, including its “monopolistic” dominance in advertising marketplaces.

The industry has long called for such regulatory efforts, but let’s not sit back and hope they turn out in favor of the independent publishers. We need to keep our voices loud to remind lawmakers of the importance of justice for our industry.

The other side of the world shows what can happen when publishers lose their voice during these processes. In Australia, Google and Facebook are getting a valuable concession in the form of legislation focused on how the two giants pay publishers for content.

In the new statute, Google and Facebook can provide value to news publishers through traffic procurement. But there’s a catch. There’s no absolute value for a publisher’s traffic in the law, so Google and Facebook could argue that the traffic they deliver has the same value as what a publisher’s content is worth, meaning Google and Facebook might not have to pay publishers anything for their content.

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This justification is exploitative because publishers lack bargaining power against the conglomeration of Google’s and Facebook’s clench on traffic.

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This example epitomizes the two-faced behavior when these two companies waver between acting like a friendly “traffic driver” in one instance, but then also acting like a publisher in the next, by showcasing content on their own sites. Actually, they’re both. In being both a player and a referee, these companies present a monopolistic advantage over every other website. Publishers can be an asset to the FTC by highlighting the severity and harm of that double-sided personality.

While the FTC has ordered technology giants to provide data on how they collect, use, and present personal information, as well as their advertising and user engagement practices, US publishers need to demonstrate a comprehensive argument that conveys how the platforms’ ability to control traffic (through search and social feeds), content (with Google News, Facebook News, YouTube, AMP and more) and even ads (Google search algorithms and Chrome ad blocking) is inherently anticompetitive.

Categorize The Platforms Or Split Them Up

We must remind lawmakers that these problems extend into every aspect of the media industry. Publishers have had little control over their site traffic for decades, and are now allowing the platforms to also control content distribution. We must band together to stop it while we have this unique opportunity to be heard.

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In the United States, the industry criticized Google for a rule rolled out across its Chrome browser in May to block “heavy” ads. This algorithmic, and somewhat arbitrary, decision directly affects publisher ad revenue. The algorithm blocked the premium home page banner on the New York Times. There is no publisher on earth that has the means to block ads from showing on the New York Times. But Google, which owns Chrome as well as Google News, can do it. This omnipresent control needs to end.

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This argument also stretches across Google’s (and Apple’s) ability to arbitrarily drop third-party cookies and the IDFA with no revenue accommodation for the affected publisher sites.

Publishers should have the leverage here, for what would Facebook and Google be without them? But how do they express their disdain for these monopolies’ ability to manage nearly all of the traffic on the internet while also controlling what content people see? To date, publishers have not united to address these issues inherent to Google’s and Facebook’s business models.

Now is the time to create that argument. The Better Ads Coalition, the IAB, and the W3C are the main entities that exist to create standards for all that touches Google and Facebook. But not one of these entities can provide regulation broad enough to truly counteract the issue.

After publishers fought back against Google AMP, a limited platform that didn’t fairly compensate them for mobile traffic, Google made concessions to improve it. Chrome is talking about “FloCs” as a one-to-many replacement for cookie targeting in W3C talks, but these battles are just child’s play for these giants. With the FTC now paying attention to Facebook, publishers can create a comprehensive public statement about the unfair practices of both platforms and expect a more substantive response.

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Publishers need to lay the truth out clearly:

  • Google search algorithms and Facebook news feeds directly determine who gets traffic and how. The percentage of referred traffic from these two alone represents the majority of many sites’ total traffic.
  • Chrome browser settings block ads (and ad revenue) from publishers with no regulation or reasoning. With cookies and IDFA going away, ad targeting goes away on publisher sites.
  • Google and Facebook directly compete with publishers for their own viewers by showcasing content on their sites across Google News, Facebook News, YouTube and more.
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The states reportedly collaborated with publishers to put their suit together, so we have a friendly ear. With 100 top publishers working together, we could finally see some traction, some movement to expose and manage the insane amount of control these two companies currently have over the digital media industry. The FTC might be listening. Facebook and Google might be listening. Publishers should start talking.

Follow Kargo (@kargo) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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Messenger Private Reply Updates for the Developer Community





Private Replies allows a business’ Facebook Page to send a single message to a person who published a post, who commented on a post or commented on the Page.

Support for Private Reply for Groups

In September, we extended this support for Facebook Groups, allowing businesses to be able to send private replies to a person who commented on their Page’s post in Facebook Groups.

How it Works

To send a private reply to a post or comment, send a POST request to the /PAGE-ID/messages endpoint with the recipient parameter set to the post_id or comment_id and the message parameter set to the message you wish to send.

The following example shows a reply to a post published on your Page by a customer:

Hi, I want to buy a gift for my nephew. Do you have any suggestions?

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  curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{     "recipient": {         "post_id": "PAGE-POST-ID"     },          "message": {       "attachment":{         "type":"template",         "payload":{           "template_type":"button",           "text":"Of course, what is your budget for the gift?",           "buttons":[               {                   "type": "postback",                   "title": "LESS THAN $20",                   "payload": "GIFT_BUDGET_20_PAYLOAD"               },               {                   "type": "postback",                   "title": "$20 TO $50",                   "payload": "GIFT_BUDGET_20_TO_50_PAYLOAD"               },               {                   "type": "postback",                   "title": "MORE THAN $50",                   "payload": "GIFT_BUDGET_50_PAYLOAD"               }           ]         }       }     } }' ""

Triggers a Private Reply flow like this.

For more information, please review the below documents:

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Enabling developers to create innovative AIs on Messenger and WhatsApp





Every week over 1 billion people connect with businesses on our messaging apps. Many of these conversations are made possible by the thousands of developers who build innovative and engaging experiences on Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Since opening access to our Llama family of large language models, we’ve seen lots of momentum and innovation with more than 30 million downloads to date. As our messaging services continue to evolve, we believe the technology from Llama and other generative AI models have the potential to enhance business messaging through more natural, conversational experiences.

At Connect Meta announced that developers will be able to build third-party AIs – a term we use to refer to our generative AI-powered assistants – for our messaging services.

We’re making it easy for any developer to get started, so we’re simplifying the developer onboarding process and providing access to APIs for AIs that make it possible to build new conversational experiences within our messaging apps.

All developers will be able to access the new onboarding experience and features on Messenger in the coming weeks. For WhatsApp, we’ll be opening a Beta program in November – if you’re interested in participating please sign up to the waitlist here to learn more.

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We’ll keep everyone updated as we make these tools available to more developers later this year. We look forward to your feedback and seeing what you create.

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Introducing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0





Today, we are releasing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0. As part of this release, we are highlighting changes below that we believe are relevant to parts of our developer community. These changes include announcements, product updates, and notifications on deprecations that we believe are relevant to your application(s)’ integration with our platform.

For a complete list of all changes and their details, please visit our changelog.

General Updates

Consolidation of Audience Location Status Options for Location Targeting

As previously announced in May 2023, we have consolidated Audience Location Status to our current default option of “People living in or recently in this location” when choosing the type of audience to reach within their Location Targeting selections. This update reflects a consolidation of other previously available options and removal of our “People traveling in this location” option.

We are making this change as part of our ongoing efforts to deliver more value to businesses, simplify our ads system, and streamline our targeting options in order to increase performance efficiency and remove options that have low usage.

This update will apply to new or duplicated campaigns. Existing campaigns created prior to launch will not be entered in this new experience unless they are in draft mode or duplicated.

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Add “add_security_recommendation” and “code_expiration_minutes” to WA Message Templates API

Earlier this year, we released WhatsApp’s authentication solution which enabled creating and sending authentication templates with native buttons and preset authentication messages. With the release of Graph API v18, we’re making improvements to the retrieval of authentication templates, making the end-to-end authentication template process easier for BSPs and businesses.

With Graph API v18, BSPs and businesses can have better visibility into preset authentication message template content after creation. Specifically, payloads will return preset content configuration options, in addition to the text used by WhatsApp. This improvement can enable BSPs and businesses to build “edit” UIs for authentication templates that can be constructed on top of the API.

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Note that errors may occur when upgrading to Graph API v18 if BSPs or businesses are taking the entire response from the GET request and providing it back to the POST request to update templates. To resolve, the body/header/footer text fields should be dropped before passing back into the API.

Re-launching dev docs and changelogs for creating Call Ads

  • Facebook Reels Placement for Call Ads

    Meta is releasing the ability to deliver Call Ads through the Facebook Reels platform. Call ads allow users to call businesses in the moment of consideration when they view an ad, and help businesses drive more complex discussions with interested users. This is an opportunity for businesses to advertise with call ads based on peoples’ real-time behavior on Facebook. Under the Ad set Level within Ads Manager, businesses can choose to add “Facebook Reels” Under the Placements section.
  • Re-Launching Call Ads via API

    On September 12, 2023, we’re providing updated guidance on how to create Call Ads via the API. We are introducing documentation solely for Call Ads, so that 3P developers can more easily create Call Ads’ campaigns and know how to view insights about their ongoing call ad campaigns, including call-related metrics. In the future, we also plan to support Call Add-ons via our API platform. Developers should have access to the general permissions necessary to create general ads in order to create Call Ads via the API platform.

    Please refer to developer documentation for additional information.

Deprecations & Breaking Changes

Graph API changes for user granular permission feature

We are updating two graph API endpoints for WhatsAppBusinessAccount. These endpoints are as follows:

  • Retrieve message templates associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account
  • Retrieve phone numbers associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account

With v18, we are rolling out a new feature “user granular permission”. All existing users who are already added to WhatsAppBusinessAccount will be backfilled and will continue to have access (no impact).

The admin has the flexibility to change these permissions. If the admin changes the permission and removes access to view message templates or phone numbers for one of their users, that specific user will start getting an error message saying you do not have permission to view message templates or phone numbers on all versions v18 and older.

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Deprecate legacy metrics naming for IG Media and User Insights

Starting on September 12, Instagram will remove duplicative and legacy, insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API in order to share a single source of metrics to our developers.

This new upgrade reduces any confusion as well as increases the reliability and quality of our reporting.

After 90 days of this launch (i.e. December 11, 2023), we will remove all these duplicative and legacy insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API on all versions in order to be more consistent with the Instagram app.

We appreciate all the feedback that we’ve received from our developer community, and look forward to continuing to work together.

Please review the media insights and user insights developer documentation to learn more.

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Deprecate all Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 endpoints

Facebook Wi-Fi was designed to improve the experience of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots at businesses. It allowed a merchant’s customers to get free Wi-Fi simply by checking in on Facebook. It also allowed merchants to control who could use their Wi-Fi and for how long, and integrated with ads to enable targeting to customers who had used the merchant’s Wi-Fi. This product was deprecated on June 12, 2023. As the partner notice period has ended, all endpoints used by Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 have been deprecated and removed.

API Version Deprecations:

As part of Facebook’s versioning schedule for Graph API and Marketing API, please note the upcoming deprecations:

Graph API

  • September 14, 2023: Graph API v11.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • February 8, 2024: Graph API v12.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • May 28, 2024: Graph API v13.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform

Marketing API

  • September 20, 2023: Marketing API v14.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • September 20, 2023: Marketing API v15.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • February 06, 2024: Marketing API v16.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform

To avoid disruption to your business, we recommend migrating all calls to the latest API version that launched today.

Facebook Platform SDK

As part of our 2-year deprecation schedule for Platform SDKs, please note the upcoming deprecations and sunsets:

  • October 2023: Facebook Platform SDK v11.0 or below will be sunset
  • February 2024: Facebook Platform SDK v12.0 or below will be sunset

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