Earlier in 2021, Facebook announced a news feed topic exclusion feature for advertisers. Facebook began testing this with a small group and has now expanded this feature to more users with a potential plan to implement this across all advertisers.
Facebook is implementing a safety feature for advertisers to allow users to exclude their ad from appearing in content of particular topics. “For example, a children’s toy company may want to avoid [appearing on] content related to a new crime show, so they could select the “Crime and Tragedy” topic.”
According to Facebook, this will help keep people safely connected as well as protect people’s privacy in the future. Many Facebook users had expressed their concern with privacy as well as brand association with politics or irrelevant content leading to certain advertisers receiving backlash due to the public thinking the brand had affiliations with the content.
Having this feature will make it easier for advertisers to exclude certain topics that they feel is irrelevant or doesn’t match their brand, which provides advertisers with more control over where their content is shown. This might also make advertisers feel more confident when advertising, knowing that their ads will be shown in the right places. The topics that advertisers can exclude are ‘Crime and Tragedy’, ‘News & Politics’ and ‘Social Issues’.
Though using this feature might bring advertisers more control, it may also hinder performance. Facebook is a great place to share news information and there are plenty of news outlets on the platform. By restricting access to these topics, your ads may not achieve the same results as you would normally expect. This comes with the ground of excluding anything on Facebook, but as the topic choices tend to be content that is so easily shared, it doesn’t come to a surprise that by excluding these topics, you’re ads may see a decline in metrics. It’s worth noting that the topics are quite broad and the general rule of thumb on Facebook is to A/B test new features where possible rather than jumping in with haste. Compare the results with previous campaigns and see what works better for your ads.
Facebook found that 94-99% of the time, advertisers were able to avoid appearing next to content related to the exclusion topics, branding the early testing stage of this feature a success. ‘News & Politics’ exclusion led to a 94% avoidance, ‘Social Issues’ exclusion led to a 95% avoidance and ‘Tragedy and Conflict’ led to a 99% avoidance. What this means is that Facebook advertisers will soon have the opportunity to exclude these topics from appearing next to their ads, creating a safer space for both businesses and the public, and allowing more control of ads for advertisers.
“We will soon begin exploring and testing a new content-based suitability control that will aim to address concerns advertisers have of their ads appearing in Facebook and Instagram feeds next to certain topics based on their brand suitability preferences.”
Since the start of 2021, Facebook has been doing what it can to improve safety for all Facebook users, whether that’s the public, advertisers, businesses, or page admins. Their plan is to improve the platform where possible and this feature is definitely a step in the right direction. Giving more control to advertisers is always positive and the safer it is for advertisers and customers; the more trust people will place on the platform, which in turn, helps the platform expand. Let’s hope they continue to add new features that help with general safety as well as the quality of life on the platform.
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