Facebook Ads are changing this year, here's how

It’s probably not going to come as a surprise to anyone that Facebook - Meta - is once again making changes to its Facebook Ads platform. We’ve gone through many different versions since the platform was first launched in 2007 - and it’s unlikely that this will be the last turn of the wheel. Given the speed at which the online world evolves, it’s only to be expected that Facebook will continue to make changes to keep up with internal, and external expectations. So, what does this latest round involve?

It seems like this is an ethical change

Facebook Ads are changing in 2022, initially to make targeting options less personalised. This might sound insane for a platform that attracts potential advertisers by its ability to offer targeted ads. However, much of this seems to have come from the criticism that Facebook has received over the past year when it comes to not doing enough to prevent negative online activity. As a result, we are going to see some of the detailed targeting options removed. This is a move that Facebook is justifying to “better match people’s evolving expectations of how advertisers may reach them on our platform…”.

So, is Meta moving away from personalisation?

No, the Facebook Ads platform will still be built around this and the social media giant has confirmed that by also stating that it believes “the best advertising experiences are personalised.” This is a change that is being largely driven by civil rights consultants and requests that have been made by various stakeholders when it comes to more action and tools to help provide more protection to people who are using the platform. So what are the changes that we’re going to see in Facebook Ads this year?

Removal of detailed targeting options

Not all of the detailed targeting options are being removed - the change only relates to some of these options. Meta has picked those that it deems to be particularly sensitive and taken these away as of January 2022 (although most people will still have access to them until March this year). These sensitive topics include health, race, ethnicity, religion, poltical beliefs and sexual orientation. So that means that advertisers can no longer target users based on interests such as bowel cancer awareness, Muslim holidays or social issues.

The Marketing API

Although the marketing API has already changed, most campaigns can continue targeting these options until 17th March this year. Facebook has recommended looking at the list of ad set IDs targeted at affected objects via the Depreciating Terms API for those that could cause a pause in delivery. Edits can be made at campaign level but those at ad set level could update target audience. If, after 17th March you see this message: “Error code 100, sub code 18157520” then you will need to update your targeting option outside of the sensitive topics.

For now, Meta/Facebook is making one big change for 2022 that revolves around removing some elements of personalisation from Facebook Ads. But is it a sign of the direction the platform is likely to take going forward? Find out how Iconic Digital can help your businesses advertising on social media, get in touch today and call us on 020 7100 0726. Find out more about our Paid Advertising agency in London.

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