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March 1, 2021

The Facebook News Blackout: Who's Next?

Imagine if your entire social media reach disappeared overnight. No more posts, mentions, likes or follows. What would that mean for your business? For promoters, that's a terrifying thought – but changes are happening that could make that a grim reality. It's time to rethink your strategy and stop investing into building audiences you don't own.

Something monumental has just happened to Facebook in Australia, and this one goes all the way to the top. In response to a proposed change to the law that would require tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay news outlets to link to their content, Facebook has taken the drastic step of banning all news related content in Australia.

Other countries including the EU have also threatened to bring in similar laws meaning this could be the first of many Facebook territories affected by these changes.

ABC News, run by Australia's public broadcaster has 4.1m fans on Facebook. Today, their page sits completely empty, with all their content missing. There's no word from Facebook yet as to when this situation will end, or how.

Screen Shot 2021 02 18 at 11 36 00 am
ABC News had over 4m likes on Facebook.

Several important government pages have also been suspended, including those belonging to state health departments just days before the start of a national vaccination rollout.

And it's not just news or government outlets affected. Some of Australia's largest music festivals like have also had their pages suspended, losing millions of likes and follows. Could your event be the next to lose its reach overnight?

The biggest takeaway from this latest debacle is that Facebook data doesn't belong to you, it belongs to them and it can be taken away from you at any moment.

So how as promoters can we avoid this situation and protect revenue streams moving forward? The answer is relatively simple. You must own your data to control it.

First Party vs Third Party Data

By focussing on collecting 'First Party Data', you'll build a database of contact details for your audience that you can engage outside of the major social media platforms.

Collecting this first-party data also allows you to upload this data to Facebook Custom Audiences in the event your page is taken down and you still want to run ads to those who have interacted with your events in the past.

At Audience Republic we've helped thousands of event promoters around the world take control of their audience data to grow their engagement and sell more tickets. Sign up for a free account today or request a demo.

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Article by
Joshua Young

Josh is a Growth Marketer at Audience Republic. He has previously worked at Sydney Fringe Festival, Live Nation & Disney Channel.