After the Cambridge Analytica debacle, Facebook has really been trying to clean up their act and keep themselves out of trouble (including an apologetic ad campaign). In a bid to continue this, Facebook has announced that it will be removing around 5,000 of its advanced targeting options in a bid to stamp out ‘discriminatory’ ad targeting.
Facebook’s targeting can be very niche and helps us send the right ads to the right people, and even exclude certain users from seeing the ads. This includes targeting such as income, ethnic affinity, religion and many more. Although this targeting has been used in legitimate ways to reach people interested in certain topics, Facebook is trying to remove targeting that can be misused in ads, across the platform.
An example of this misuse is targeting users who are likely to be a first time home buyer but being able to exclude users with low income. Targeting tangentially related to religious beliefs and racial profiling, are those likely to be cut and we have also seen the likes of income targeting being affected as well.
All Response Media viewpoint
Facebook is a huge part of our offering and this change will affect a significant amount of our clients and how we target their key audiences. Facebook will still have a wide range of ad targeting options available, likely more than what any other ad platform can provide. However, our targeting will need to be adjusted to continue to target the same audience but in a slightly different way than before.
Although the removal of over 5,000 audience targeting options, could affect our current targeting, we are working hard to find alternatives, for example:
Original targeting = income over $100,000
New targeting = likes luxury goods etc.
We can constantly tweak targeting to make sure our results stay the same (or even improve!) after the removal of certain types of targeting – there is always an alternative! In addition, as always with Facebook, there is something else in the pipeline. As 5,000 targeting options go, Facebook has already announced more targeting updates to share in the next few months as it refines its targeting even further.