The first few months of 2018 haven’t been kind to Facebook. With all of the drama surrounding the platform, there has been a lot of speculation about how advertisers will be impacted. While there’s plenty that still needs to be hashed out, here’s what we know so far: for advertisers who are using first party data (Windsor Circle clients, that’s you) you’re in the clear; however, if you use 3rd party data brokers or share custom audiences between business accounts, you may need to take a look at your advertising strategy. We’ve outlined the changes impacting Facebook advertisers below (note: we will update this as we learn more). [updated April 19]
Change 1: Bye Bye Third Party Data Brokers
Also known was the Partner Category, Facebook announced that it would no longer be augmenting its data with 3rd party data brokers such as Experian and Acxiom (note: ad performance metrics via these platforms will remain intact). Facebook will still collect information readily available from user interaction with the site, for example pages that a user likes, as well as data provided by the advertiser, such as loyalty membership status.
This change could be detrimental to advertisers who were relying on 3rd party data to serve ads; however, if you’re powering relevant ads based on Facebook interaction and your own first party data being piped into Facebook via a platform, such as Windsor Circle, or using a .CSV upload - you’re in the clear.
A few articles for you to peruse on social media advertising best practices:
- Windsor Circle Custom Audiences Beat Facebook Custom Audiences in a Head to Head Test
- 3 Social Campaigns for Apparel & Footwear Retailers
- 5 Facebook & Instagram Campaigns for Beauty & Skincare Retailers
- Set up Facebook & Instagram Ads in 6 Steps
- 10 Social Media Stats You Need to Know
Change 2: No Custom Audience Sharing (coming soon)
In the near future, Facebook is going to roll back the ability to share Custom Audiences between Business Accounts. In a step to mitigate advertisers from obtaining email addresses from one business and using the data to promote a separate business, Facebook is going to ban Custom Audience sharing, a feature they rolled out in 2016 that allowed you to share Custom Audiences and LookALike Audiences between Business Accounts. At this point, Facebook hasn’t released any information on what this ban will entail.
Change 3: Say Hello to the Custom Audience Certification Tool (coming soon)
In response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal and in preparation for the roll out heightened data privacy standards set forth by the EU’s GDPR, Facebook will be releasing a Custom Audience certification tool. The details are a bit fuzzy on this, but it looks like, at least for now, advertisers will be asked to represent and warrant that proper user content has been obtained. Facebook’s policy for advertisers already included language around warranting that owners of the data had notice and consent to their data being used; however, this new tool will take a more active approach to data privacy and informed consent.
Again, if you’re using first party data to power Facebook ads you have nothing to worry about and can continue to use and thrive with Facebook and Instagram ads. Also, important to note: any impact this may have on our segment syncing capabilities (if any) will be addressed when more information becomes available. For now, there is no indication that syncing will be an issue.
Change 4: Users Can Opt-Out of Targeted Ads
On April 18, Facebook announce that they will being rolling out features allowing users to opt-out of targeted ads. Users in Europe will be prompted to decide whether they would like to continue to share their data to receive targeted ads. Different articles on the matter say different things on whether this campaign will become a worldwide initiative, stay tuned. While Facebook has designed this campaign to make it easier to stay opted-in rather than opt-out of sharing data, if you're targeting users in the EU this may impact your ability to cast as wide of a net. The plus side? Users who decide to continue sharing their data want to see relevant ads, meaning you may see higher engagement from this channel.
These changes to Facebook’s terms of service and data handling are probably the first in a long line of rollouts that will focus on protecting the privacy of users and making sure the platform is in compliance with GDPR standards (taking effect May 25th). We will update this article as more information comes to light on how Facebook is handling these changes and how they may impact you.
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