After successfully using his platform to target millions of potential voters, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a secret phone call to Donald Trump following his 2016 election victory, according to a report from BuzzFeed News on Thursday.
Zuckerberg “congratulated the Trump team on its victory and successful campaign,” according to the report, which cited “three people familiar with the conversation.”
Facebook declined to comment to TheWrap. The White House did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
The Trump campaign relied heavily on Facebook to win voters, spending $44 million on nearly 6 million different ads between June and November 2016, according to Bloomberg. Hillary Clinton’s camp, on the other hand, spent $28 million on 66,000 ads during the same period.
Facebook noticed how well the Trump team leveraged its platform, using the campaign to help sharpen its own approach to advertising, BuzzFeed reported. “Trump used Facebook as Facebook was meant to be used,” one former Facebook employee told BuzzFeed News.
The good will was apparently mutual on both sides. One Trump staffer told BuzzFeed News “their team showered tons of praise on our team.”
Facebook said it did not invite Trump or Clinton campaign staffers to detail how they used the social network. “Our work with the Trump team was similar to that of any major client we have,” a Facebook rep told BN.
President Trump appears to be doubling down on his Facebook-heavy approach heading into the 2020 U.S. election as well. POTUS is the biggest spender on Facebook political advertising, according to a new New York University study, with his team dropping $274,000 on ads since early May. Those ads have hit 37 million people on Facebook so far.