Facebook VP: ‘I Wish We Could Go Back … And Change The Pitch We Brought to Advertisers’

By Justin Lafferty Comment


As the great organic reach debate continues to rage on Facebook for many page owners and advertisers, the common complaint has been that many page owners paid once to acquire fans, then they had to pay again for their posts to reach those fans.

Does Facebook regret making the initial push for page like ads? Maybe.

Andrew Bosworth, the vice president of ads and pages at Facebook, discussed his company’s advertising motivations at TechCrunch Disrupt on Thursday in San Francisco. TechCrunch moderator Josh Constine asked if Facebook owes an apology to page owners who bought page like ads, thinking the reach would be there.

Bosworth’s response:

I wish we could go back years and change the pitch we brought to advertisers. We really didn’t anticipate this feud with our own growth and the content that we put in the News Feed. There is good news here, though. If you look at the narrative, we have real business results.

Bosworth talked about how the ad technology Facebook has now wasn’t quite developed when the site made the big push for pages to buy page like ads. Now that Facebook has more targeted advertising and deeper ways to track effectiveness, they can entice page owners to invest in engagement, Bosworth noted:

The real issue is, years ago, we didn’t have that technology. We didn’t have the ability to measure all the way to a business result. What we had to give instead were these proxy metrics. We had things like page likes, social reach and social metrics. It was literally what we had to sell. The good news, and I believe this, is that those investments were good. Those investments have paid off.


Bosworth said that Facebook is continuing to develop more ways for businesses to drive commerce via pages. He announced a new ad type: a click-to-message call-to-action button, and talked about how more and more people are coming to pages.

According to Bosworth, unique visits to Facebook pages have risen 40 percent year-over-year. He called Facebook pages “your best online presence.” Additionally, people messaging pages on Facebook has doubled year-over-year.

Readers: If you purchased page like ads, do you feel that you recouped your value?