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Will my ads be affected by Facebook’s ‘clear history’ update?

Breaking news from Facebook HQ! The social media giant has recently announced it will be cracking down on targeted ads with new privacy measures on the platform.

Over the past 12 months Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, has been trying to steer his social ship towards smoother waters in terms of user privacy.

Introducing the idea of a ‘clear history’ tool for later this year, the aim is to make Facebook a more transparent place for everyone – but at what cost to our ads?

Read on for the lowdown on the new function and what it could mean for you and your clients…

What is the ‘clear history’ tool?

The word is out – Facebook are ready to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and tighten their privacy measures. Responding to increased scrutiny over data collection, they will be rolling out their ‘clear history’ tool in the coming months.

So what exactly is it? Here’s what Facebook says the tool will mean for users and marketers alike:

“If you clear your history or use the new setting, we’ll remove identifying information so a history of the websites and apps you’ve used won’t be associated with your account.

[So] when someone disconnects their off-Facebook activity, we won’t use the data they clear for targeting. This means that targeting options powered by Facebook’s business tools can’t be used to reach someone with ads.”

Let’s break this statement down. Essentially, the feature will let people delete their personal data from the social network important for targeting ads. So while it will give users more control over their data, it will give us marketers less control over our ads.

What does this mean for my targeted ads?

So where are Facebook getting this data in the first place? Time for a little Facebook history lesson…

Facebook gathers their data from websites and apps outside of the platform and we then use it to put the right messaging in front of the right people by serving them a highly targeted ad.

In the spirit of transparency, the ‘clear history’ tool will now show users a list of apps and websites they have visited that employ Facebook business tools like the Facebook Pixel, SDK and API.

Brands use this pixel (which is essentially a computer code) to tag a user when he or she visits their website – and then hits them with an ad when they’re back on Facebook (i.e. remarketing).

So if people start clearing their pixel, they won’t be accessible that way again, unless they visit the website again and rebuild their history – putting our ads in jeopardy.

But it’s not the end of the world. Why? Because we need to start re-thinking this new update. Protecting people’s information and our ads aren’t at odds – we can do both!

Here’s how:

  1. Firstly, it won’t affect any measurement or analytics tools, so we can still glean deeper insights into our ads and change them accordingly
  2. It won’t actually delete a user’s browsing activity of offline actions, but makes the data anonymous
  3. AND you could even make the argument that informing people about how their information is being used will only improve how consumers feel about the ads they see (and we all know people are more likely to listen to brands they trust…)

How Bang Digital’s social media team can help

A few months is not far away. So as we move forward into this new era of Facebook, marketers must reconsider how we connect with our audiences – both on and off the platform.

This tool and other eminent privacy updates need to be taken into consideration when planning strategies in this second half of the year. And Bang Digital can help.

Our social media marketing team have the experience and expertise in putting together organic and advertising strategies across a wide range of social media platforms including Facebook.

We stay on top of the cutting edge and are always thinking of ways to take your digital marketing to the next level. We take these updates into consideration when putting together your strategy and are always thinking about the social media marketing process holistically.

By staying nimble, your social media works smarter, not harder and you can see long-term success on this ever-changing platform.

Bang Digital want to help. Let us take the hard work out of staying on top of these social updates for you by applying them accordingly to your strategies. Contact us today.