Back in December, a big announcement was made in the paid social realm: Facebook removes ad targeting options in order to protect its users from discriminatory advertising. Over 5,000 targeting options got the axe in attempts to keep Facebook ad targeting inclusive. This included limiting the ability for advertisers to exclude audiences on the basis of their religious or ethnic background. This followed changes that happened in the spring that included ending Partner Categories, subsets of targeting that allowed advertisers to target users based on things like their tax bracket and their place of work. Lastly, Facebook launched a tool that allows users to choose whether or not they consent to businesses using their information.
So what does all of this mean for Facebook advertisers? Thankfully, most of the changes to targeting options were exclusions, or things that advertisers use to keep certain audiences from seeing their ads. Facebook never released an official list of what all was excluded, for fear that discriminatory advertisers may try to come up with similar audiences to exclude. Your Facebook ad campaigns should be just fine without seeing any changes as long as you’re running them in a fair and ethical way.
All of Facebook’s revenue comes from its advertising, which means that if they made severe negative changes for their advertisers, the business would lose tons of money. The social platform experienced a historic drop in stock value in Q2 of 2018, so they wouldn’t want to make any changes that would severely impact the advertisers that use Facebook. They have enough on their plate, so cutting any options that would affect the way good businesses use their advertising platform could mean death to the company. The worst case scenario is that advertisers are down a couple targeting options that were, at most, marginally important to your campaigns. Best case scenario is that your campaigns continue to excel and one of the world’s largest advertising platforms became more fair.
Luckily, there are still many options for you. Advertisers still have access to tools like Lookalike Audiences, which helps you find audiences that act like the ones you’re already targeting. There are also still tons of targeting options, and if a few that you used previously got axed, you can probably find something adjacent to help you target your ads more effectively. Continue to test your ads with the remaining options so that you can maximize their value, and consider expanding your paid ads campaigns to other platforms such as Instagram, Google, or YouTube.
There are always options when it comes to advertising. Knowing your options is half the battle, especially when such a large change comes into play. If you’re confused about how to take your ad campaigns to the next level, we can help. Our specialized team of digital advertisers has years of experience getting the best results for our clients. We work with you to figure out the best strategy for your specific business needs.
Contact us today to schedule a free marketing consultation!