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Facebook axe ‘Partner Categories’… Will your advertising be affected?

Date: 4 April 2018

Facebook axe 'Partner Categories'... Will your advertising be affected?

After the recent Facebook security scandal, the social media giant have decided to cut ties with their ‘Partner Categories’. What does this mean? Will this affect you and your Facebook advertising?

Millions of businesses across the world use Facebook Advertising. It offers extremely specific targeting options including demographics, behaviours and interests. It’s an advertiser’s dream!

However, Facebook recently announced it will be “Shutting down Partner Categories” over the next 6 months to “help improve people’s privacy on Facebook”.

What are Partner Categories?

There are 3 types of data available to advertisers on Facebook:

  • Custom audiences – This is all based on the data you hold. For example, you can upload your own list of email addresses to target on Facebook, target your website visitors and more
  • Data captured on Facebook – Facebook offers data captured from within their platform. This data includes demographics from profiles (such as relationship status, age, gender, location), interests (pages they like on Facebook) and some behaviours (only based on behaviours within Facebook such as page admins, business owners etc.)
  • Partner Categories – This is data that Facebook buys in from third parties such as Axciom and Oracle. The data available is vast; from purchase behaviour to household composition. This is the category that, very soon, will be unavailable.

Will it affect my advertising on Facebook?

The chances are you may not be using many of the Partner Categories on Facebook anyway. Businesses have to specially request access to use much of this data. If you haven’t done this, it is likely you haven’t been using it in your Facebook ad campaigns.

If you have been using Partner Categories, you will just have to be a little more creative with your Facebook audiences! We recommend utilising the ‘Audience Insights’ tool in Facebook Ads Manager to build and learn more about your audiences. For example, say you want to target the following audience:

  • Men
  • Aged 25-40
  • Based in the UK
  • Show an interest in yoga

Go to Audience Insights and pop this targeting in. You are then able to look through the demographics, page likes, location and activities of this audience. This will help you to narrow your audience down further using categories within Facebook (and not Partner Categories).

If you have any questions or would like some assistance with your Facebook Advertising campaigns, please do get in touch. We’d be delighted to hear from you.

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