Here’s how Meta changes the targeting of Facebook ads for 2022

January 19 – save the date! Meta has announced that changes in audience targeting for Facebook ad campaigns are coming.

In response to industry pressure, Facebook parent brand Meta is keeping its earlier promise and will reduce advertiser targeting settings.

This also indicates a broader trend.

On the one hand, a high degree of targeting accuracy supports creation highly personalized experiences, which enable relevant and valuable user interaction.

At the same time, sensitivity increases when people identify themselves based on their affiliation with social causes, health status, or demographic characteristics.

With this in mind, Facebook is thus limiting its advertising options to no longer allow targeting based on these sensitive parameters.


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What is changing in the targeting of Facebook ads

Starting January 19, Facebook will remove targeting options in four main categories along with niche segments that are rarely used.

  • Health causes (e.g. breast cancer awareness).
  • Sexual orientation (e.g. LGBT).
  • Religious practices and groups (e.g. Catholic Church).
  • Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations or individuals (eg political party or political candidate).

Meta update on the upcoming changes it is mentioned that the campaigns can continue to deliver the target audience affected by the end of March 2022.

In addition, change will not fully spread through the Meta ecosystem.


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For ad sets created before January 19, you’ll be able to make campaign-level changes, such as budget amounts or campaign names, without affecting targeting until March 17.

However, changes at the ad set level will trigger audience changes.

Similarly, if the ad set is paused before March 17, when it is reactivated, new targeting changes will begin.

After March 17, it will no longer be possible to edit previous campaigns that use outdated targeting settings.

In order to make changes at the campaign, ad group, or ad level, you may need to revise your detailed targeting settings before March 17th.

Will there be a wider impact on social advertisers?

It will be interesting to see if other social media platforms follow suit and adjust their targeting capabilities. So far, Meta has experienced more pressure than other platforms.

Without reconsideration and potential reduction of theirs granularity targeting against sensitive criteria, other social platforms risk being under the same scrutiny as directed at Facebook.

You can expect that in the near future, they will also reduce their targeting in relation to personal characteristics.

The target did not indicate whether it envisages further targeting adjustments or whether this will be the only adjustment in the foreseeable future.


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However, you can take comfort in the fact that Meta is responding to the louder feedback and hope that he will continue to notice further developments.

Although this first appeared in the context of social media, program and search advertising providers should also be careful.

Historically, these vehicles have made excellent use of data that provide a high level of targeting accuracy and provide detailed insights using demographic, socioeconomic and other parameters.

If these players do not directly address the sensitivity of granular ad targeting and reporting in light of the above developments, they may be forced to (as soon as the implications of obsolescence of cookies gain momentum).


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From social issues due to profiling to the growing trend of data privacy concerns, advertising platforms and advertisers need to be prepared to address sensitive topics.

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Featured image: Jirsak / Shutterstock


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