Recently, Facebook has faced increased scrutiny for perceived intrusions into online privacy, which has caused advertisers and their platforms to reassess and readdress in an increasingly sensitive cultural milieu. In fact, in January of this year, Meta switched up its Facebook ads targeting. What does that mean for digital advertising? Read on for more info.
What’s Changing About Facebook Ads Targeting?
As of January 19, the following four Facebook ads targeting categories are no longer available: health issues, sexual orientation, religious practices and groups, and political beliefs and social issues.
Don’t panic. This doesn’t mean that current ads targeting these categories have automatically been deactivated or changed. Current campaigns can continue running until late March 2022, according to Meta. And you can still make campaign-level edits to ad sets created before January 19 without affecting targeting until March 17. But it’s important to note—if you make any changes at the ad set level, your targeting will be affected.
If you need to make any changes to an ad set created before January 19, you’ll want to go ahead and make them. You won’t be able to edit any campaigns that contain targeting at the aforementioned categories once March 17 hits. And any ads that have been paused and are reactivated after March 17 will no longer be able to target those categories either.
What Does this Mean for Other Social Platforms?
As of now, no other social media platforms have announced changes to their targeting categories. They’ve continued to get by while the focus has been on Meta and the ethical use of its users’ identifying information. That could change, however. With this major modification from Facebook, scrutiny may be placed on others to do the same.
With Meta being the first to make a change, it’s hard to predict what could follow—for Facebook and other platforms. Will they continue to restrict targeting capabilities as people grow more protective of being targeted based on personal characteristics? Only time will tell.
It’s encouraging to see that even tech giants such as Meta are not too big to listen to the feedback directed at them to implement a change.
This switch in Facebook ads targeting is also bound to affect other areas of digital advertising: programmatic and search advertising. Demographic and socioeconomic parameters are the bread and butter of their precise targeting.
As always, we’ll be sure to stay informed on developments as they happen and keep you in the know about how they will affect digital advertising. If you need help or have questions about getting your ads in front of the right people, reach out to us! We love creating digital success stories.