Meta's Limitations on Targeting Users in Advertising Campaigns - Is Banner

Meta's Limitations on Targeting Users in Advertising Campaigns

Meta is one of the suitable platforms for holding advertising campaigns. However, following some controversies and to gain the maximum satisfaction of its users, Meta has announced that it is looking to remove or merge some of the user targeting options. This feature allows advertisers to show their ads to smaller and more specific groups of users.

Introduction to User-based Targeting

With this feature, advertisers can show their ads more accurately to people more likely to be interested in their products or services. The filters that can be defined in advertising campaigns are as follows:

Interests: Targeting based on users' interests, such as interest in specific topics, products, or services.

Behavior: Targeting based on users' behavior, such as visiting specific pages or taking certain actions on Facebook or Instagram.

Location: Targeting based on users' location, such as the city, country, or region they live in.

Demographics: Targeting based on users' demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, marital status, or income.

For example, a cosmetics advertiser can limit their ads to women interested in beauty and fashion or who have recently been active on Facebook or Instagram pages related to cosmetics.

The reason for deleting or merging some of the user-targeting options

Meta has recently decided to limit or remove some user targeting options in its ads. This is because these options require too much detail or are related to topics people consider "sensitive content." For example, information that targets race or ethnicity. Meta's development team has said the following to clarify this matter:

"From January 15, 2024, we will be removing or merging some of the precise targeting options that we have defined for advertising campaigns and that relate to topics that people do not want to share information about with others. Existing ad sets with targeted options will continue to run until March 18, 2024, but they must update their campaigns as soon as possible. After this date, all ads that ignore these changes will be stopped and will be illegal."

The results of deleting or merging some of the user-targeting options

Meta still needs to provide more detail about the deleted categories, so it is difficult to say what the results will be. However, some users believe that Meta will only be able to address this challenge partially. Because there are still various ways to target users in advertising campaigns in a discriminatory way. For example, although they cannot target people based on race, they can still target users based on their location, which may have the same effect. On the other hand, this restriction can negatively impact the results that businesses and advertisers expect from their advertising campaigns because they need more information about their audience to target their advertising effectively.

The future of targeting in advertising on Meta platforms

Meta prefers marketers to use Advantage+, which relies more on AI systems and performs much better. However, it may also show ads to users who have no connection to the subject of the ad. Therefore, as Meta continues to remove more targeting categories over time, it is better to rely on its systematic display options instead. This is because this will eventually be the only brand option.

The fate of advertising campaigns after Meta's advertising restrictions

Meta says that advertisers will see a notification in Ads Manager if necessary, which will notify them of campaigns that need to be changed. Meta also reminds advertisers that it will provide other targeting options if possible. In any case, we need to wait and see how advertisers respond to Meta's restrictions on user targeting.


Meta has decided to remove some of the user targeting options in ads. This change has been made in response to criticism of race-based ad targeting.

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