Facebook political ads continue to be dominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party
- India’s incumbent, the
Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) continues to dominate the political ad spendon Facebook amid the ongoing Lok Sabha election.
- BJP and its affiliate channels account for more than half the overall expenditure of political advertising on Facebook.
- BJP as well as regional parties like the Telugu Desam Party (TDS) are seen increasing their ad spend right before sixth phase of the Lok Sabha election on May 12, 2019.
Facebook made as much as ₹228.5 million from political parties and affiliated channels, by sharing political ads on its network.
BJP’s share in that revenue was at around ₹36.8 million, while the Congress party — the challenger, spent less than a million, at ₹919,000.
In fact, BJP's spend is even higher if it is combined with its affiliate channels — like Bharat Ki Mann Ki Baat and My First Vote — at a whopping ₹140 million. That’s half of the total amount spent on political advertising on Facebook, ahead of the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections in India .
Regional parties up the ante
Regional parties like Telugu Desam Party (TDP), YSR Congress and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) also increased their spending on the social media network, by dipping deep into their coffers.
Experts point out that this may not even be the full picture of BJP’s social media spends. Facebook ad spend is only includes the amount paid to the network. This does not include other aspects — like the manpower required to manufacture and publish the posts, and the conceptualization of an online strategy.
Adding to that, BJP is active on other social media platforms like Twitter and Google as well.
Hashtags like #5YearsChallenge and #MainBhiChowkidar have far outpaced any Twitter campaign that Congress or other political parties have tried to set up.
The Ad Library set up by Facebook brings in transparency into social media campaigns. The network, which is already under scanner for privacy issues, is also looking to avoid another scandal like the Cambridge Analytica where ads were used to influence the 2016 US Presidential Elections.
(with IANS inputs)