Facebook Ads: What’s Changing



In the wake of the recent Facebook data privacy scandal, the company is changing the way its popular Custom Audiences feature works. If you’re a marketer who uses Custom Audiences to target specific populations, read on to find out what’s changing and how it may impact how your business advertises on Facebook in the coming months.


You will no longer be able to leverage the third-party data sources found in Facebook’s Partner Categories.

This data is sourced from big-name partners like Oracle and Experian. It allowed advertisers to reach prospects based on super-specific and personal information, like what kind of car they own or what tax bracket they fall into or where they work.


You will need permission to advertise to people – and are responsible for getting this consent.

Advertisers can’t just upload any old list to Facebook and target those people with ads anymore. You’ll now need permission to advertise to specific people before uploading a list, similar to permission-based email marketing.


You can see who claims to have permission to advertise to you.

As a Facebook User, you can take a look at the businesses with the ability to advertise to you because you “shared your email address with them or another business they’ve partnered with.” Go to Facebook’s Ad Preferences and scroll down to “Advertisers you’ve interacted with.” There, in the first tab, you’ll see those “who have added their contact lists to Facebook.”


The upside

  • Facebook’s changes are all in the name of adding safeguards and holding users accountable for how they target prospects – a positive development.
  • Core targeting features are all still available (that is, anything that’s inferred through information shared directly with Facebook and in-app activity).
  • You can still remarket to people who have been to your website, assuming your privacy policy addresses this.
  • And you can still create Lookalike Audiences based on your most valuable audiences.

Is it time to refine your Facebook ad targeting methods? The Signal team will make sure you’re on top of the latest developments.  

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