Latest Facebook Ad Targeting Options

We’ve once again updated our Precision Ad Targeting Planning Worksheet for Facebook (UK Edition) and many of the changes we predicted earlier this year have come true.

As Facebook wrestles to restore its reputation and curtail inappropriate advertising activities like excluding certain people from offers, it has removed some of its more contentious demographic targeting options.

For example, it’s no longer possible to target people by their income band or net worth. These filters were being used by some businesses to exclude lower-income customers, such as by landlords looking for wealthier tenants. Similarly, options to target people on their insurance types and renewal months have been removed, along with credit card use, investment behaviours and loan status. The cat and dog pet insurance options remain, presumably because they have fewer rights to privacy than humans 😉

Interestingly, for some other markets including Argentina, Brazil, India, Turkey and Mexico, there’s a new Consumer Classification option to target “people who prefer high-value goods” or “people who prefer mid & high-value goods.” This may prove helpful for international brands.

A user’s household composition is no longer disclosed to advertisers, bringing to an end some practices where financial services companies avoided offering their services to people living in housemate-based households.

And I’m delighted to see that the absurd “Generation X” and “Millennials” options have been removed. These provided no functionality beyond the alternative “Age” targeting choice so this should only cause mild inconvenience to advertisers looking for a broad-brush shorthand rather than thinking, as they should, about the actual age group they wish to reach.

As always, the mobile device user options have been brought up-to-date with the addition of some of the latest devices but there’s still no option to go after iPhone 8 or newer users. It’s unclear why it’s taking Facebook so long to add these options, although it’s possible that Apple may have masked the identity of these new devices to afford their users some additional protection from targeted advertisers. These early-adopter users are, of course, hugely valuable to Apple who guards their identity wherever possible.

However, it’s not all restrictions; the age targeting options have been widened and now starts at 13 years of age, where previously it was 18 years.

But, as expected, this update brings mostly more limitations on the precision targeting choices available to Facebook’s advertisers. Expect more cutbacks in future.

You can access our latest worksheet from here. Enjoy!