In an announcement last December, Meta detailed some upcoming changes to audience targeting within Facebook ad campaigns. Last Wednesday we received confirmation that the changes are finally being made: several audience targeting options across four categories are being removed for advertisers on March 17 (this Thursday).
As part of the current trend of online corporations appealing to privacy advocates with changes to their data gathering policies, Meta has removed targeting options related to “topics people may perceive as sensitive:” health causes, sexual orientation, religious practices/groups, and political beliefs.
From now on, it will be difficult to target Facebook ads to user attributes like membership in a church or political organization, involvement in causes like Altzheimer’s awareness or LGBTQ rights, or support of social issues/candidates for office. It’s a good move for privacy, though this will impact companies and non-profits that are trying to provide services to help individuals impacted by these issues as well. Workaround are likely already being developed, but this shift will definitely increase the work required to find the individuals that are within these interest categories.
What Should I Do?
According to Meta, “After March 17, 2022, edits for impacted campaigns will not be possible – at the campaign, ad set or ad level. To make sure campaigns or ad sets aren’t paused or have terms automatically removed on this date, advertisers should update their affected ad set’s detailed targeting and publish changes before March 17, 2022.”
In short, make the necessary changes now to remove the impacted options from your targeting or your campaigns will be paused or altered.