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Report: The Trump campaign basically taught Facebook how to use its own ad platform

Report: The Trump campaign basically taught Facebook how to use its own ad platform
[Animation: Flickr user Gage Skidmore; joshborup/Pixabay]

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Donald Trump to congratulate him on his victory in the aftermath of the 2016 election, according to BuzzFeed News.

But that may not be the most shocking part of the story. Rather, it’s the contention that the Trump campaign was so good at using Facebook’s ad platform that Facebook itself adopted some of the campaign’s ad strategies for its own ad efforts. Those efforts, which are currently running, are meant to generate trust in the company in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In response to a Fast Company request for comment, Facebook said it would not address the Zuckerberg call. Spokesperson Derick Mains did say that, “The [ads’] best practices highlighted in the [BuzzFeed] story were being used by Facebook and our clients prior to their use by the campaign.”

In its article, BuzzFeed cited internal Facebook memos that laud the Trump campaign’s use of its platform:

“These memos and presentations indicate Facebook took the methods it learned from the Trump campaign to further refine a marketing model called ‘Test, Learn, Adapt’ (TLA), which it currently uses to assess its own advertising. These internal documents are a candid recognition by Facebook of the GOP candidate’s advertising success and reveal the degree to which the company views Trump not just as a potential regulator or a source of misinformation, but also, above all, a valued customer.”

Facebook has publicly said only that it offered the same kind of help to both the Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns. But Trump campaign veterans say that, privately, Facebook employees were full of praise for how the campaign was able to leverage the Facebook platform.

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