Inside Trump’s return to Facebook
What the former President’s return to the social media site means for the 2024 campaign
Former President Trump is officially back on Facebook, reclaiming his ability to reach the 34 million users who “follow” his page. In his first post since the violent insurrection he started on January 6th, 2021, Trump simply wrote, “I’M BACK!”
In this week’s FWIW, we’ll break down how last week’s Facebook post performed, highlight some of his new ads, and share what Trump’s return to the social media platform means for 2024. But first…
By the numbers
FWIW, political advertisers spent $6.4 million on Facebook and Instagram ads last week. These were the top ten spenders nationwide:
The top political advertisers on Facebook didn’t change much last week, with conservative media outlets Daily Wire and Newsmax continuing to spend heavily.
One candidate who we’ve seen get a head-start on Facebook ads recently is Democrat Adam Frisch, who lost to notorious Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) in 2020 by only 546 votes. Frisch is back for round two, and his campaign has spent around $50,000 on Facebook in the past month.
Meanwhile, political advertisers spent just over $771,000 on Google and YouTube ads last week. Here were the top ten spenders nationwide:
A top-spending advertiser on Google last week was Future Forward USA Action. The pro-Biden independent expenditure group will reportedly have a major role supporting the President’s re-election next year, and they’ve recently run a pair of YouTube ads nationwide featuring clips from the State of the Union.
Elsewhere in the Googlesphere, an opaquely-named organization called American Opportunity is running a whole bunch of ads in support of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s agenda. The New York Times is reporting that the group is backed by Michael Bloomberg and has some ties to the Democratic Governors Association.
…and here’s a snapshot of political ad spending on Snapchat, year-to-date:
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From around the internet
We’re not tracking the Philly mayoral election all that closely, but this TikTok has to be the future of political advertising. The creator of the video says that it’s “not an endorsement,” but if I were on a campaign, I’d pay top dollar for that type of content.
Speaking of TikTok, creators descended on Washington this week as the company’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, testified before a House committee on Thursday. It didn’t go well, but the multi-billion dollar tech company was able to find a handful of shills in this town, with Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) bizarrely accusing those wanting to ban the app of racism and “xenophobia.” You can read my take on how Dems should approach TikTok here, but I’d encourage you to read Katie Harbath’s much more thoughtful analysis at Anchor Change.
Jacob Rubashkin noticed that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ)’s digital team has switched their primary fundraising page from ActBlue to non-partisan/conservative processor Anedot – an interesting move that may be signaling preparations for a wild re-election campaign next year.
FWIW, here’s how much money likely or confirmed 2024 presidential candidates have spent on Facebook + Google ads to date (3/5 -3/18):
In the past week:
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem launched new Facebook ads nationwide last week, which is the latest evidence of her “don’t forget about me!” strategy.
Mike Pompeo sent four emails calling AFT head Randy Weingarten “the biggest threat to our American way of life.” Go touch some grass, Mike.
Republican voters really don’t like Mike Pence.
Glenn Youngkin’s top political advisor is officially on Team DeSantis.
Donald Trump’s campaign used news of his potential arrest to raise over $1.5 million in less than a week.
Quantifying Trump’s return to Facebook
Former President Trump is officially back on Facebook, reclaiming his ability to reach the over 34 million users who “follow” his page. In his first post since the violent insurrection he started on January 6th, 2021, Trump simply wrote, “I’M BACK!”
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