Meta has changed its Facebook Ads audience targeting options across its four categories, beginning in the first month of 2022. In response to increasing industry scrutiny, Facebook has restricted some detailed advertising options since they’re in line with topics people deem as sensitive. Since January 19 of this year, Meta has switched up its Facebook Ads audience targeting over its four main categories – health issues, sexual orientation, religious practices and groups, and political beliefs and social issues are no longer available.
What specifically is changing in Facebook Ads targeting?
The following four major categories are now obsolete in Facebook targeting options:
- Health causes (e.g., Breast cancer awareness, Chemotherapy)
- Sexual orientation (e.g., LGBT, same-sex marriage)
- Religious practices and groups (e.g., Jewish holidays, Churches)
- Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures (e.g., political party or political candidate)
Along with the categories mentioned above, Facebook will also remove rarely used targeting options that may be redundant or too granular for others.
For an agency that offers Facebook advertising, coping with changes made by Facebook Ads is quite common. As experts, these people know how to thrive with the waves. Instead of asking "why?" the best Facebook advertising agency in the Philippines will ask "how?". They would analyze how these ads are changing, how they should adapt, and how these changes impact the business.
How will it affect Marketing API?
In light of the changes cited, it’s good to note that no immediate action is needed for the moment. Any Facebook ads company or business with ongoing targeting campaigns occurred before January 19, the said four categories will continue to operate until late March 2022, said Meta. However, it’s recommended to avoid making edits to deliver campaign targets as expected. Until then, doing campaign-level edits, such as budget amounts or campaign titles to ad sets established before January 19, will be unaffected until March 17.
Nevertheless, know that targeting will be affected if changes at the ad set level were created. Similarly, for any ad sets that have been paused before March 17, the new targeting changes will take effect once they are reactivated.
After March 17, choosing the removed targeting options will reveal a message saying “Error code 100, subcode 18157520: Cannot Use Invalid Detailed Targeting Options: Some of Your Detailed Targeting Options Have Been Removed: This ad set includes detailed targeting options that are either no longer available or unavailable when excluding people from an audience. You may need to remove items from your ad set or confirm the changes to turn it back on.”
Upon seeing this message, it’s high time to update your targeting option without the mentioned topics above.
How about other social media platforms?
So far, only Meta has announced changes to Facebook targeting categories. With Meta doing the first major move to make a change, other social media platforms may also do the same, though, this is something we have to wait and see.
While Meta has felt more pressure than other platforms, there’s a risk that the same scrutiny may also be directed to them as it had been to Facebook. It will be interesting to see if others will also scale back their targeting away from sensitive and personal categories in the future.
While the decision isn’t easy, Meta has responded to the increasing volume of public criticism and will continue to evaluate and advance its ad system to meet the needs of everyone.
That said, inevitable changes can mean little to massive adjustments across different FB ad campaigns. Good thing, top Facebook advertising agencies in the Philippines have been dealing with Facebook ads shifts and other social media marketing changes. Acquiring professional help from agencies and advertisers increases your business ROI or return on investment.
AMPH Advertising Agency Inc. is one of the leading digital agencies in the Philippines since 2013. Equipped with the latest digital marketing knowledge and technologies, our Facebook ad management services have been helping businesses of all sizes to meet their goals and achieve success. FB ads for small businesses lead to better brand awareness, higher conversion, and thus higher sales.