- MyPillow is massively ramping up its spending on Facebook ads, data company Pathmatics told Insider.
- Its Facebook ad spending spikes whenever there’s bad press about Mike Lindell, data shows.
- Lindell has openly criticized Facebook and said he plans to launch his own social-media site.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
MyPillow’s spending on Facebook ads spikes every time there’s bad press around its controversial founder Mike Lindell, according to data shared with Insider.
Lindell has been blocked from Twitter, sued by Dominion, and had his products pulled by retailers all in the space of a few months – and MyPillow boosted its Facebook ad spending each time, the data shows.
The pillow company has spent an estimated $3.6 million on Facebook ads since January alone, ad-data company Pathmatics told Insider.
The company relies predominantly on infomercials, starring Lindell himself, to drive sales. He told Insider’s Kate Taylor that he run ads on more than 5,000 channels and 500 radio stations that span the political spectrum and that the company reaches “everyone.”
He told Taylor Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are destroying businesses. He also has lambasted all three social-media sites in interviews after they deleted his posts that falsely claimed voting machines switched votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election.
Despite his comments about social-media sites, data from Pathmatics shows that MyPillow has massively ramped up its Facebook ad spending. Its $3.6 million Facebook ad spend between January and mid-March alone is a huge increase on 2020, when it spent an estimated $2.3 million on Facebook ads over the course of the whole year. This, in turn, was more than double what it had spent in 2019.
This also greatly surpasses how much MyPillow spends advertising on other websites, too. Pathmatics estimates the company spent 93% of its 2020 digital ad spend on Facebook.
Its spending on Google’s ad network dropped to $0 in March after spending around $45,000 between January 2020 and early March 2021, estimates from Pathmatics show. Lindell has said in interviews that he spent “tens of thousands of dollars” buying ads on Google, but that the search engine had “canceled” him.
MyPillow’s Facebook ad spending spikes when there’s bad press about Lindell
In January, retailers began pulling MyPillow’s products after customers said they would boycott the brand over Lindell’s voter-fraud claims. Following the news, MyPillow more than quadrupled its daily Facebook ad spend from $4,500 on January 15 to $175,000 on January 21, according to estimates from Pathmatics.
In February, Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against both Lindell and MyPillow, accusing him of “knowingly [lying] about Dominion to sell more pillows.” After this, MyPillow more than tripled its daily Facebook ad spending to $94,000, estimates from Pathmatics show.
Twitter permanently banned Lindell’s account in January and suspended MyPillow’s a week later after Lindell falsely accused Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, of being involved in fraud during the 2020 election. Pathmatics estimates that after Lindell was banned, MyPillow more than doubled its Facebook ad spending to $154,000 overnight.
Spending also spiked in both 2020 and 2021 ahead of his appearance at CPAC, Pathmatics said. The company reached its 2020 digital ad spend peak at the beginning of April, after Lindell appeared at Trump’s coronavirus task force meeting.
And in July 2020, when companies including Starbucks, Unilever, and Ford halted Facebook ads for a month after the platform allowed posts in which then-President Donald Trump called Black Lives Matter protesters “thugs,” MyPillow actually increased its Facebook ad spending by more than 60% from the previous month, according to estimates from Pathmatics.
Lindell told Insider’s Taylor that each MyPillow ad either breaks even or makes money, regardless of any controversies he is embroiled in at the time.
Data from Google Trends show that searches for “MyPillow” peak, not when seasonal searches for “bedding” are high, but when Lindell is in the news.
When Lindell is in the news, interest in the brand grows, and so it may invest in online ads to capitalize on this increased interest, professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, told Insider.
“MyPillow is recognizing that bad press is still press and is taking advantage of the energy, no matter the sentiment,” Matt Klein, a cultural researcher and consultant, told Insider. “Lindell’s divisiveness is attractive to some.”
“So when there’s a press hit, negative or positive, he becomes top of mind again for those consumers,” Klein added.
MyPillow did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Lindell plans to launch his own social-media site
But as MyPillow has ramped up its Facebook ad spending, Lindell has been secretly creating his own social-media platform over the last four year.
Lindell told Insider’s Natasha Dailey that the social-media site, which is called Vocl and due to launch over the next month, will be a cross between Twitter and YouTube.
In a podcast on Monday, he said Vocl would be the “biggest platform in history, safest platform ever.”
Lindell has been open about his problems with other social-media sites, notably Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, which have flagged or removed content where he peddled voter-fraud theories.
Lindell, who is planning to be the site’s CEO, told Dailey he didn’t have any prospective investors and declined to say how much money he invested in Vocl. It is unknown how much – if at all – he plans to use the site to advertise his MyPillow brand.
Despite MyPillow increasing its digital advertising, though, the company has given no indication that its infamous infomercials will stop any time soon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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
- 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
First seen at developers.facebook.com
Allowing Users to Promote Stories as Ads (via Marketing API)
Before today (August 28, 2023), advertisers could not promote images and/or videos used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API. This process created unwanted friction for our partners and their customers.
After consistently hearing about this pain point from our developer community, we have removed this unwanted friction for advertisers and now allow users to seamlessly promote their image and/or video media used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API as of August 28, 2023.
We appreciate all the feedback received from our developer community, and hope to continue improving your experience.
Please review the developer documentation to learn more.
First seen at developers.facebook.com
Launching second release of Facebook Reels API: An enterprise solution for desktop and web publishers
We’re excited to announce that the second release of FB Reels API is now publicly available for third-party developers. FB Reels API enables users of third-party platforms to share Reels directly to public Facebook Pages and the New Pages Experience.
FB Reels API has grown significantly since the first release in September 2022. The new version of the APIs now support custom thumbnails, automatic music tagging, tagging collaborators, longer format of reels and better error handling.
FB Reels API will also support scheduling and draft capability to allow creators to take advantage of tools provided either by Meta or by our partners. Based on the feedback we received from our partners, we’ll now provide additional audio insights via the Audio Recommendations API and reels performance metrics via the Insights API.
Our goal in the next couple of releases is to continue to make it easier for creators to develop quality content by adding features like early copyright detection and A/B testing. We’re also excited to start working on enhanced creation features like Video clipping- so stay tuned to hear more about those features in the future.
If you are a developer interested in integrating with the Facebook Reels API, please refer to the Developer Documents for more info.
Not sure if this product is for you? Check out our entire suite of sharing offerings.
Tune in to Product @scale event to learn more about FB Video APIs and hear from some of our customers.
First seen at developers.facebook.com
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