Meta is taking more steps to limit advertisers’ abilities to target their advertising campaigns to teens.
In a blog post on Tuesday, the company announced that it was making some changes that will limit advertising to teenagers and give young adults more control over ads on Meta’s platforms. Meta said that it is making these changes based on “research, direct feedback from parents and child developmental experts, UN children’s rights principles, and global regulation.”
One of the main changes the company is making is that they are removing advertisers’ ability to target teens based on gender. The company is also stopping the use of teens’ engagement with apps to inform what kinds of ads they will see.
We’re announcing further updates to our ad system beginning in February, including removing gender as an option for advertisers to reach teens. Additionally, their engagement on our apps — like following certain Instagram posts or Facebook pages — won’t inform the types of ads they see. Age and location will be the only information about a teen that we’ll use to show them ads.
The company further notes that “age and location help us continue to ensure teens see ads that are meant for their age and products and services available where they live.” Meta is also adding more ways for teens to control the advertising they do see across its platforms, providing more preferences for ads in the settings for its apps.
Starting in March, teens will have more ways to manage the types of ads they see on Facebook and Instagram with Ad Topic Controls, expanding on what’s already available. Teens will be able to go to their Ad Preferences within Settings on both apps, and choose See Less or No Preference to further control the types of ads they see.
Meta has always been under intense scrutiny for its effect on people, especially young adults. While some could say that these moves are too little, too late, it is good to see the company make changes that should have a positive impact on apps’ effect on teens.
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