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Facebook Ads Targeting Is Changing in 2022

| 3 minutes to read

New audience changes are coming in January 2022 to Facebook audience targeting says Meta in their latest announcement. From the 19th of January, Meta will alter audience targeting to support more privacy rules to its users. There has been a lot of pressure surrounding user privacy on Facebook over the past few years and Meta are doing what they can to alleviate this with recent changes. Advertiser targeting will scale back on the precision that we currently know from Facebook by removing certain segments from audience targeting altogether.

Facebook “will be removing some Detailed Targeting options because they relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as targeting options referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation. Examples include:

  • Health causes (e.g., “Lung cancer awareness”, “World Diabetes Day”, “Chemotherapy”)
  • Sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”)
  • Religious practices and groups (e.g., “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays”)
  • Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures”

What this means is that from January 19th 2022, Facebook advertisers will not be able to create new ad sets with the above targeting segments and more. However, if your ads currently have any of the targeting segments mentioned, you can still target these audiences up until March 17th, 2022, when they will be removed completely from Facebook targeting. To keep these audiences running until late March, we recommend not to change the audience or significantly edit the ad set. Any changes should be kept to a minimum with only budget changes otherwise the segments will be removed from your ads before March 17th. These changes to the way we advertise and target doesn’t come to a surprise as Meta has been pressured to make changes for a while. We expect that this is just the start and there will be plenty more changes in the coming months. As segments begin to be removed, we expect audience targeting to be altered than what we are currently used to.

There are a few ways that this will impact advertisers, the main one being that Facebook targeting is becoming less granular as more and more segments begin to be removed. The more segments that are taken away from the platform, the harder it will be to target specifically to certain people especially if your business has a direct correlation with these audiences. This can lead to inferior conversion rate rankings and additional time being spent on adjusting targeting to find the right fit which can lead to ads becoming more expensive in the long run. On the other hand, we understand why privacy is important as these targeting segments can be deemed sensitive to users receiving ads based on these interests. These changes will roll out on Facebook and Instagram but we assume that in time, all social media advertising platforms will follow suit due to privacy policy becoming a larger part of the industry.

To counteract these audience changes, we recommend looking at your current audiences and try to identify segments that might be closely related to the interests that are being removed. If a large part of your targeting includes these interests, start thinking about new interests that could potentially lessen the impact before the 17th of March. We know that more interests will be removed in time so it’s always best to begin having an idea in mind of what alterations you can make before they come into effect. The more you test new audiences, the better you’ll be at homing in on the right audience. With that in mind, make sure to check out our other blogs and videos on how you can effectively create new audiences for your business.

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Joaquin Lopez

Paid Media Manager

Quags is our talented Paid Media Manager with a wealth of experience across display, search and social. With a particular talent for Facebook advertising, paid social ads and creatives, he’s worked with a variety of B2B and B2C brands including Trulawn, Snazaroo and Worx. On a personal note, Quags is a sci-fi movie buff, gamer, lover of dystopian fiction and self-taught bassist with a penchant for ramen noodles.

Joaquin Lopez Read more about Joaquin Lopez

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