In recent news, Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the company is laying off more than 11,000 employees – a 13% workforce reduction – and implementing a hiring freeze into next year. The company’s largest layoff was followed by declining growth in digital advertising and social networking services on top of increased spending on the metaverse and plummeting stock, according to sources.

Poorly targeted ads could be one reason Meta is facing a slowdown in their digital ads business — CivicScience data show that only 4% of U.S. adults say the majority of digital ads they see online are ‘very relevant,’ which is down one percentage point from the beginning of the year.

Looking at Meta social media platforms, Instagram users are more likely to say that digital ads are ‘very relevant’ to their interests (12%) than Facebook users (6%). But, the majority of Facebook users and almost half of Instagram users say they are ‘not at all’ relevant. Compared to polling in March 2022 (those answering ‘very relevant’), Facebook ad relevancy decreased by three percentage points and Instagram ad relevancy stayed consistent.

When it comes to ad clicks, more than half of both Facebook and Instagram users say they stopped clicking on ads altogether within the last year. Very few say they’ve been clicking on more over the last year (7% for Facebook and 12% for Instagram). 

This could in part be the result of inaccurately or falsely advertised products conditioning consumers away from future clicks.

Additionally, CivicScience polling shows that many users are intentionally taking a break from scrolling on social media platforms. Instagram users (39%) are more likely than Facebook users (36%) to have taken multiple intentional breaks at some point over the last six months.

As the digital ad and social media landscape shifts, CivicScience will continue to track consumer behavior and habits to uncover emerging trends. And, we can see how your customers are specifically responding to them – let’s chat.