REUTERS: Facebook Inc on Thursday launched a campaign to explain to users how small businesses depend on personalized advertising, ahead of upcoming plans by Apple Inc to prompt iPhone users to allow apps to use their data for ads.
The campaign called "Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found" highlights several advertisers that have grown their business on Facebook and Instagram, such as Houston-based fashion brand House of Takura. A commercial will air on TV, including during the Golden Globe Awards this Sunday, Facebook said.
The campaign to convince users to warm up to ads comes as Facebook, which faces several U.S. antitrust lawsuits, has accused Apple of anti-competitive behavior in using its control of the App Store to limit app developers' collection of user data from other apps.
Facebook's ad spending behind the campaign is in the millions of dollars, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Facebook generates revenue from ads and through fees for businesses using a feature that lets customers purchase directly within Facebook and Instagram. Facebook said it will continue to waive those fees through June.
The social media giant said Thursday it will launch an Instagram sticker and Facebook hashtag "DeserveToBeFound" to let small businesses share and publicize their offerings across the platforms.
It will also simplify its Ads Manager, a self-serve tool that lets brands buy and create Facebook ads, to make it easier for small businesses to use.
Annette Njau, founder of House of Takura, said personalized ads have been essential to expanding her brand, which sells handbags made in Africa. She said 85per cent of her sales so far this year have come from Facebook.
"I had my Facebook and Instagram pages before I had a website," Njau said. "I like that I can be responsive to (customer) questions and the fact that I can be right there."
(Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)