In a change that will likely have an impact on affiliate marketers, Facebook announced this week that they will be making some significant alterations to the targeting capabilities of its ad platform.
This comes after Facebook settled multiple housing discrimination related lawsuits with the National Fair Housing Alliance.
On Tuesday, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg issued a statement regarding the forthcoming changes:
“One of our top priorities is protecting people from discrimination on Facebook. Today, we’re announcing changes in how we manage housing, employment and credit ads on our platform,”
These changes will include but may not be limited to:
Anyone who wants to run housing, employment or credit ads will no longer be allowed to target by age, gender or zip code.
Advertisers offering housing, employment and credit opportunities will have a much smaller set of targeting categories to use in their campaigns overall.
We’re building a tool so you can search for and view all current housing ads in the US targeted to different places across the country, regardless of whether the ads are shown to you.
Last year, The National Fair Housing Alliance and others accused Facebook of discriminating against users through their ad targeting functions by allowing advertisers to exclude individuals based on their sex, religion, race and other characteristics.
This was an issue because landlord and home sellers were able to pick and choose who saw their listings based on those factors without the people who were excluded knowing. You’re simply not allowed to do this when it comes to the housing market.
If you’re an affiliate who uses Facebook Ads as a traffic source for promoting campaigns, these changes could affect the way you target users and the effectiveness of past strategies, especially in regard to job, housing, or loan campaigns.
You can find out more about the settlement and potential changes to Facebook’s ad targeting here.