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We're Losing Even More Targeting Options On Facebook...Here's What You Need To Know

Facebook will remove detailed targeting options relating to potentially sensitive topics beginning Jan. 19, 2022. Detailed targeting allows companies the opportunity to be narrow with their targeting goals. Sensitive topics can include causes organizations or people that touch on:

  • Health causes (such as awareness days)

  • Sexual orientation

  • Religious practices and groups

  • Political beliefs

  • Race and ethnicity

Facebook believes personalized ads lead to the best advertising practices since they can connect companies with a larger audience they may not otherwise be able to reach, but the company wants to prevent advertisers from “abusing” the available target options.

The company consulted with civil rights experts, policymakers, and stakeholders to discuss how it could better serve its audience in terms of the ways advertisers can connect with them via the social medium. The company’s research and discussion with said groups revealed those targeting options potentially open the door for poor experiences for “underrepresented groups.”

The hope is that the greater good makes it a worthwhile venture, even if it may affect some companies. Detailed targeting options regarding an individual’s physical and personal traits are still available, and Facebook will continue to review its targeting options. Facebook has made it clear that it’s a priority to reduce abuse across its platform, and this can potentially help.

Facebook is passionate about helping small businesses and advocacy groups--among others--expand their outreach. Here are some tips involving detailed targeting that can allow companies to flourish even while there are fewer options to choose from.

  • Broad Targeting is still allowed, which allows for targeting based on age, gender and other broader targeting demographics. These can be helpful if your product or brand aligns with a certain demographic, and you want to capitalize on that potential.

  • Advocacy groups and small businesses can utilize Engagement Custom Audiences to connect with individuals who have liked their page or watched their videos (Video View Engagement Custom Audiences). This can aid groups looking to generate donations since the audience has already displayed some level of interest.

  • Engagement Custom Audiences can also be employed as a “seed audience” to create Lookalike Audiences, which expand outreach. A lookalike audience allows for the opportunity to reach a new audience that shares characteristics with the current group. Facebook recommends that the source audience contain roughly 1,000-5,000 people.

  • Website Custom Audiences and lookalike audiences allow for the potential to connect with individuals who have already engaged with a company/group’s website or products. An example includes a custom audience of anyone who’s visited your website within a specific timetable. There is the opportunity to be broad or narrow.

  • Location Targeting allows for targeting based on location. This can be used to target an audience in certain countries, states, or cities.

  • If a company/group has permission, it can use information from its customers to create customer lists via a custom audience. This can then be used in multiple ways.

Even with the removal of detailed targeting options, Facebook is aiming to expand the individual control that minimizes which advertisements can appear on the site. For example, Facebook will allow individuals next year to have more control with content such as gambling. That will follow the steps already put into action to limit political, animal, and even alcohol-related topics.

The whole process is designed to create a more inclusive space that still connects small business and advocacy groups with audiences while not putting anyone in an uncomfortable spot. Small sacrifices have to be made in order to create an environment fit for all.

There still are plenty of ways to utilize detailed targeting options to help your company or brand reach a larger audience and grow your business. Nonprofits and other organizations can rest easy knowing there is still the potential for vast outreach that helps aid their causes.


Well, aren’t we glad you asked! DigiCom is a proud Facebook Marketing Partner. We’re obsessive data-driven marketers pulling from multi-disciplinary strategies to unlock scale. We buy media across all Facebook platforms and placements, provide creative solutions alongside content creation, and conversion rate optimizations. We pride ourselves on your successes and will stop at nothing to help you grow.


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