What to Do About Facebook’s Updates on Detailed Targeting in 2022

FB Detailed Targeting Changes

Insights from the article:

  • Meta reported that there will be significant changes in the ad platform’s detailed targeting parameters, removing certain interest topics that reference sensitive topics and unused topics;
  • Ad campaigns will now be forced to pivot to more broader detailed targeting sets;
  • Advertisers need to check their campaigns for potential changes and continue to test for changes in their performance results:

If you’re like us who keeps track of all of Facebook’s platform and algorithm updates, you might have noticed an email announcement about removal of some detailed targeting parameters for Facebook Ads.

FB Detailed Targeting email notification

The email might have been haphazardly sent because the header image points to an image URL that doesn’t exist.

Regardless, this is something to keep a close watch on, and something to prepare our Facebook and Instagram campaigns. Basically if you’re running ad campaigns in both platforms and are extensively using detailed targeting parameters to target your intended audiences, some of these changes might affect how you run your ads.

What are Facebook Ads’ Detailed Targeting

The Detailed Targeting section is a part of the process of setting up your ad sets in Facebook Ads, where you determine the interest topics you deem are closest to what your target markets are interested in. It is in this stage that you pinpoint the kind of content your target markets are interested in, so that when they search for, or engage with, content within the interest topics you are targeting – your ads will then be displayed to these users.

Facebook Ads Detailed Targeting Changes Preview

Detailed targeting also includes options to target specific behaviors, such as mobile device preferences, the types of activities your target markets engage in on Facebook and/or Instagram, travel and brand preferences, and more. The best way to learn about what options are available here is to explore them, and choose the ones you feel are most relevant to who you are targeting with your ads.

How Facebook Ads’ Detailed Targeting will Change in 2022

According to Meta’s official documentation on the changes to happen by March 2022, they will be removing certain unused interest targeting options, as well as interest topics that reference organization affiliations, sensitive causes, religious practices, sexual orientation, and more.

According to the Meta for Business blog, interest topics that point to sensitive affiliations or activities may have been abused by some advertisers to target certain groups of people with malicious intent. The company mentioned that they are constantly evolving the platform to serve its advertisers better, and perhaps this is one way of eliminating the abusive ways some people use the platform.

How Will These Changes Affect Your Campaigns

The optimal way to know whether some of the interest targeting options you are currently using has been removed, is to manually check. As of writing, Meta for Business has not released a list of said options to be removed in the platform, and if you believe that your targeting strategy involves using interest targeting topics about health causes, sexual orientation, religious practices and/or political affiliations and beliefs, then you need to check your ad sets as soon as these changes are implemented in March.

If your strategy revolves around using these topics to target your intended audiences, then you also might want to consider another plan. You might also want to stay put and see how your performance changes, and immediately pivot if you see negative effects on your performance.

Let’s Make Your Digital Marketing Easier

These topics are something that we are very engaged in here in JC Digital. Keeping tabs on how advertising platforms and algorithms are changing is definitely a part of our day-to-day, and is something that we advise our clients about, as soon as they are announced.

For free digital marketing audits and initial consultation meetings with our team, feel free to contact us today.

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