Since Facebook first launched its ad platform in 2007 there have been so many changes that it’s been challenging to keep up. And that’s no different in 2022, as there are more shifts incoming. If you’re finding it all a bit overwhelming then focus on how ads are changing, where this is likely to impact on your business specifically and how you’re going to adapt. As of 19th January this year, Facebook has introduced one of its biggest changes yet. So, what is it and what does it mean for your business going forward?

Targeting options are evolving

Specifically, some of the detailed targeting options are going to be removed. Although personalisation has been a big driving force in Facebook advertising, these changes have become necessary more for political and rights reasons. This is an update that has been requested by civil rights and policy sectors and will reduce personalisation across some parts of the ad platform as a result.

So, what does this mean in practice?

Well, it’s going to mean that targeting options that fall within what Facebook considers to be sensitive are removed from the platform. So, that could be something like political beliefs or categories like race, ethnicity, health, sexual orientation and religion. As a result, you can’t now create ads that target interests like LGBT culture or social issues, for example.

Has the marketing API already shifted?

Yes, it changed on 19th January. However, the targeting options that are going to be removed this year will still be available until 17th March. The advice from Facebook, in terms of how businesses should approach these changes, is to: “acquire the list of ad set IDs targeted at affected objects via the Deprecated targeting terms API. Thereafter, partners can evaluate the ad sets’ targeting specifications against Targeting Status API to identify the object IDs that may cause a pause in delivery.” Edits can be made at campaign level before 17th March. However, if you make changes to something like targeting options or placements then this could update your target audience.

Is it clear that you’ve tried to choose a removed targeting option?

There will be an error message that you’ll see if you’re trying to select a targeting option that Facebook has removed as part of its latest round of streamlining:

“Error code 100, sub code 18157520: Cannot Use Invalid Detailed Targeting Options: Some of Your Detailed Targeting Options Have Been Removed: This ad set includes detailed targeting options that are either no longer available or unavailable when excluding people from an audience. You may need to remove items from your ad set or confirm the changes to turn it back on.”

If this pops up then you’ll need to update the targeting option to ensure it doesn’t include health, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs etc.

It’s no surprise that Facebook is continuing to evolve its ad offering – and a positive move that this is going to be more adaptive to individual rights.  To find out how Iconic Digital can help you with your social media channels in 2022, get in touch today, call us on 020 7100 0726. Find out more about our Social Media Marketing Agency in London.