While creating an audience for a Facebook ad campaign for one of our clients, I noticed some changes in Facebook ads targeting options. Facebook no longer gives the targeting option related to breast cancer. Digging deep into the issue, I found that Facebook has removed some categories from their audience targeting option.
It was a pleasant surprise to see that Meta takes some initiative by removing some sensitive parameters from Facebook’s audience targeting options.
What changed in Facebook ads targeting
After doing some more research, we found that four categories in the audience targeting options are gone.
- Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures
- Religious beliefs and religious groups (like “Catholic Church”)
- Sexual orientation (like “LGBT community”)
- Health issues and causes (like “Breast cancer awareness”)
These changes in Facebook’s ad campaign started today, January 19, 2022, and the rollout will happen throughout the week across different regions.
From the past couple of years, the growing concern related to personal data of people being used through different advertising platforms has challenged companies like Meta to scale back their targeting options and stay away from individual characteristics.
How to minimize the potential impact of these changes
These changes will not drastically impact how most businesses create their Facebook ads. However, if it will somehow affect your marketing strategy or target audience, there is still a way to minimize the impact of these changes on your ongoing campaigns.
Meta has released a statement on their developers portal. They have mentioned that the campaign-level edits can still be made (like budget amount or campaign names) on campaigns created before January 19, 2022. But after March 17, 2022, it will no longer be possible to edit previous campaigns without triggering audience changes.
Edits at ad set level or ad level will trigger audience changes immediately from today itself.
What to expect in future
This update will not go unnoticed by other digital advertising platforms, and soon we can expect similar changes to them as well.
For the time being, it is interesting to see that finally, Meta is listening and taking some action for the enormous amount of feedback related to data privacy that has been mounting up for the past 2 to 3 years.