Last week, Facebook announced it was removing certain targeting options for Facebook Ads – options that number in the thousands.
In a blog post, Graham Mudd, Facebook’s Vice President of Product Marketing and Ads, explained that while the social media giant believes personalization is key to providing the “best” advertising experiences, the company wants to better meet people’s expectations of advertisers online. It is therefore addressing feedback received from policymakers, stakeholders and civil rights experts on ensuring advertisers are prevented from abusing Facebook’s targeting options.
As a result – in an extremely reluctant tone – Mudd announced that the company has made the “difficult decision” to remove certain ‘Detailed Targeting’ options from its Ads Manager. The options to receive the axe are those related to sensitive topics, such as organisations, public figures and causes related to sexuality, religion, political affiliations, ethnicity or race. In a tweet, Mudd expanded on this further by providing a figure, revealing that thousands of options are set to be removed:
Today we announced that we will be deprecating 1000s of interest targeting options that relate to potentially sensitive topics such as health, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. While this decision may seem obvious, it wasn’t. (1/3) https://t.co/voiN9CyzfJ
— Graham Mudd (@grahammudd) November 9, 2021
Examples of these targeting options provided by Facebook include health cause interests, such as “chemotherapy”; sexual orientation interests, such as “same-sex marriage”; and religious group interests, such as “Jewish holidays”.
These targeting options are all based on how people interact with Facebook. It would appear the decision to remove the options was not one Facebook was happy to do, with Mudd stating that it wasn’t an easy or simple decision, but it was made because:
“We’ve heard concerns from experts that targeting options like these could be used in ways that lead to negative experiences for people in underrepresented groups.”
Facebook has stated it will work to continually improve its ad system, and the targeting options are set to be removed from Ads Manager on 19th January, 2022.
Using Facebook and its wealth of targeting options to advertise your products or services is a great way to reach people who are interested in what you do. At Engage Web, we offer both Facebook Ads set-up and management services, so if you’re interested in an ads campaign for your business, get in touch today or sign up for our next free Facebook Ads training session.
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