Facebook Ads: Exciting Changes Coming Soon

By Tim Bosch

A couple weeks ago Facebook announced the sunset of Sponsored Stories on April 9th. However, several targeting changes were announced that slipped under the radar.

What does “No More Sponsored Stories” really mean?

As Facebook said last summer, all ads will continue to include social context, where possible. An example of this is when you currently run page post or page like ads, Facebook will automatically display any social context associated with the ad (i.e. your friends who liked/commented on the post or liked the page). Thus, the power of social context will still exist in Facebook ads. You just won’t be able to create an ad with the only purpose of social context anymore.

Facebook has redefined its targeting

Facebook ad targeting now will fall into 4 categories: Locations, Demographics, Interests, and Behaviors (new). Also announced is a redefinition of targeting from an “or” segmentation to an inclusive “and” targeting method.

As Facebook states:

“Historically, if you selected “Parents” “Photography” “Photo uploader” within interests, the audience constructed was People who are Parents OR interested in Photography OR people who upload [many] Photos. However, the intended audience was: “Parents, who are interested in photography and upload pictures”. Now, the specific audience will be targeted as intended.”

Facebook claims that structuring the targeting options this way will allow more “flexibility and precision” in building your audience.

A new targeting type, Behaviors, has been added. These categories are specific to a user’s particular past purchase behavior and purchase propensity. This is something that seems to be covered in Partner Categories, so it’s not clear what is being added or changed here. A more streamlined interests targeting has been created as well. Precise Interests ( keywords & #topics) and Broad Categories have now been combined and now have only one targeting segment for each term. This change has already been implemented for most advertisers.

Perhaps the most exciting announcement is new features in the advanced demographic and some behavioral targets.

Facebook explains:

“Key features include better coverage of workplace, education and job title types as well as expanded Relationship status types. There is also the added functionality of selecting the recency of change of a life event (3 months, 6 months, 1 year).”

The ability to start targeting by job title could be an exciting addition. Job Title targeting has been the darling of LinkedIn advertising for quite some time. Could this be an attempt to capture some of the B2B market LinkedIn currently owns?

What are your thoughts on these changes? What are you looking forward most from Facebook ads?

[...] Facebook also redefined its targeting, adding better coverage of career and relationship information. Facebook will also roll out re-targeting capabilities within their existing custom audience features. This would allow direct response marketers to send messages to people who have visited websites or mobile apps. According to Facebook for Business: “By placing the Facebook remarketing pixel on their Web site, or the Facebook or third-party SDK in their mobile app, more marketers can now build Custom Audiences based upon the actions people take while visiting their site or mobile app — and then show deliver ads based on these actions.” [...]
Michelle January 23, 2014
Interesting that the 4 key categories also give Facebook the ability to target specific audiences in the future (by keeping tabs and generating a database or something like that).

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