Do Facebook Users Hate Ads?

Do Facebook Users Hate Ads?

Facebook penetration and advertising spend is growing in Southeast Asia. But, do consumers like seeing Facebook ads?

According to eMarketer, at least two-thirds of internet users in Southeast Asia have regularly logged on to Facebook this past year.  The report, which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, illuminates the high penetration of the social network, listing it as the most popular social network in Southeast Asia.

With Facebook penetration high in the region, it’s no wonder that marketers in Southeast Asia are spending their ad dollars with the platform.  In fact, according to the company’s own Q4 2015 earnings data, Facebook earned $832 million from Asia-Pacific advertisers, placing the region in third place behind North America and Europe.

However, despite high penetration in the region, brands in Southeast Asia are still hesitant to increase their advertising efforts on Facebook, with many concerned with overloading users with ads or garnering negative engagement on the social network.  L2 recently tackled the debate through a Promoted Post report, which sheds light on how users engage with promoted posts.

According to the report, Facebook users engage with promoted posts the same way they react to organic content, with emotion reactions of promoted posts mirroring the relatively positive positive sentiment of organic posts.


“Likes” accounted for 97% of reactions observed in the study, with promoted and organic posts generating similar distributions of Wow, Sad, Angry, Haha, and Love reactions.  Surprisingly, the exceptions to the report were actually in favor of promoted posts, with two brands experience higher Love reaction rates and higher engagement on promoted content versus the brands’ organic content.  Perhaps this suggests that promoted content is perceived as less intrusive and with less blatant hatred as other digital advertising options, such as pop-ups.  As Dave Wehner, CFO of Facebook, states, “The optimal ad load is really a mix of art and science.  We also want to be thoughtful about making sure each person’s overall feed experience has the right balance of organic and ad content.”  Coupled with the right creatives, Facebook advertising then can, as shown with the reports’ outliers, actually drive higher engagement and positive sentiment for a brand.

Continue reading to see L2’s complete findings from their Promoted Posts report.


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