Political parties, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and their affiliates have ramped up spending on social media ads ahead of the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections.
With 1,03,700 ads in library (in the February 19-May 4 period), Facebook received Rs 22.85 crore from political parties and their affiliates for posting political ads on this platform.
The BJP alone spent Rs 3.68 crore and the Congress Party Rs 9.2 lakh. If we add affiliates, the BJP has spent over Rs 14 crore on Facebook and the Congress party over Rs 75 lakh.
Other big spenders are regional parties like the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the YSR Congress and Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
Facebook's Ad Library, a searchable database, includes ads related to politics and issues of national importance run on Facebook or Instagram.
Supporters and affiliates of political parties account for most of the spending on the social media platforms.
For example, the pro-BJP pages Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat (Rs 2.24 core) and My First Vote For Modi (Rs 1.15 crore) have spent much more than the Congress.