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New Facebook Targeting Changes: What You Need to Know

New Facebook Targeting Changes: What You Need to Know
08 Aug 2018

Back in April, the Facebook privacy scandal made headlines, and Facebook vowed to make big changes in an effort to increase user privacy and restore people’s faith in the social media platform. Four months later, these changes are upon us, and you need to make sure you know what is changing so you can adjust your social media marketing accordingly. 

Partner Categories Disappear on August 15, 2018 

Partner categories were introduced in April of 2013 as a way for companies to increase their targeting capabilities on Facebook. By compiling data from third-party participants—including Experian, Acxiom, Oracle Data Cloud, etc.—Facebook gained insights into how people spend money online, what they do for a living, if they own a home, and more. This information is incredibly valuable for advertisers so that they can effectively hone in on their target market.  

Unfortunately, this third-party data is also putting people’s private data in the hands of the wrong people, so it has to go away. As of August 15, 2018, no new ads will be allowed to use the targeting options provided by these partner categories. However, if an ad is already running that utilizes these targeting options, it can continue running until October 1, 2018. (Hint: Make sure to have targeted ads in place before August 15.)  

However, the exact targeting options that are going to be impacted are unknown. While it can be speculated that the impacted targeting categories are the ones that focus on spending habits and other information that Facebook could not know on their own, Facebook has not come out with a clear list of options that will be discontinued. Your only indication is a little warning sign after you create an ad letting you know that some of your audience specifications will be taken off of the platform soon. But on the plus side, you don’t have long to wait before you can go in to create an ad and see what categories remain after the August 15 cutoff.  

Changes to Custom Audiences Already in Play 

The other big Facebook targeting change that you need to be aware of involves the Custom Audience feature. Previously, a list of contacts could be uploading and then Facebook would cross-reference it and show Facebook ads to your newsletter subscribers. However, as of July 2, 2018, there is now a certification tool that requires you to disclose where you got this contact information from. Essentially, Facebook wants to make sure you have permission to be sending the people on your list marketing content. Once you acknowledge that you have obtained the contact information with permission from the users, you can then use this feature as usual. 

Even though Facebook is taking changes to protect their user’s privacy, and it seems like a lot of the great targeting options are disappearing, there are still plenty of ways to make sure the right people see your ads on Facebook. To learn more, contact Zero Gravity Marketing today.