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Facebook Cashes In on Trump’s Potential Impeachment


Oct. 3 2019, Published 10:30 a.m. ET

The topic of President Donald Trump’s potential impeachment is sending a tidy sum Facebook’s (FB) way. The Trump campaign purchased Facebook ads worth about $2.0 million in the final week of September to talk about Trump’s impeachment, according to a New York University researcher.

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Rallying support against Trump’s impeachment

House Democrats are leading a push for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. They’re accusing the president of abusing the power of his office to target his political opponents. Trump reportedly asked the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden, a possible rival in the 2020 election. According to a Reuters report, US support for Trump’s impeachment has soared in the past week. Therefore, the Trump campaign is trying to rally support against Trump’s impeachment with a torrent of Facebook ads.

In addition to the Trump campaign, other pro-Trump groups have also spent big on Facebook advertising. As we’ve discussed, conservative news outlet Epoch Times spent over $2.0 million on pro-Trump ads on Facebook. However, Facebook recently banned Epoch Times from advertising on its platforms for breaking its political ad transparency rules.

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Massive audience makes FB a key advertising tool

Facebook operates the largest social network in the world. Its social apps combined reach more than 6.0 billion people globally.

The social media giant finished the second quarter with 187 million daily users in the US and Canada and 1.6 billion daily users worldwide on its namesake social network. Snap’s (SNAP) Snapchat concluded the quarter with 83 million daily users in North America and 203 million users globally. Twitter (TWTR) exited the second quarter with 29 million daily users in the US and Canada and 139 million globally.

Facebook’s extensive reach makes it an attractive tool for advertisers looking to get their message out to a large audience. Facebook will capture 22.1% of all digital advertising dollars in the US in 2019, according to eMarketer figures. That will make it the country’s second-largest digital advertising company behind only Google (GOOGL), whose share will be 37.2%.

Even as Facebook reaps the benefits of millions of dollars associated with Trump impeachment ads, political ads remain a headache for the company. A few years ago, Russian agents used Facebook, Google, and Twitter to run divisive political ads in the US. Consequently, the companies came under fire for allowing that to happen. To prevent the future abuse of its platforms, Facebook has tightened its rules around political advertising.


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