Facebook Shuts Down 3rd Party Targeting
In an attempt to right the privacy protection ship yesterday Facebook announced plans to wind down its Partner Categories offering. Since 2013 Partner Categories has been the portal for 3rd parties to bring their audience data to create custom segments within FB’s overall user base. This move is a direct result of uproar over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which exposed FB’s inability to protect user data. It’s worth noting companies using Partner Categories haven’t been stealing FB data – this platform is totally disconnected from the app API which was exploited in the data leak. But apparently FB is making user privacy such a priority that they’re shutting down any feature which ties user data to third parties.
So what does this mean for advertisers? Brands can still target audience segments using FB’s own native data, and be able to data match audiences against their own CRMs. But data from major players like Oracle, Epsilon, BlueKai, Adobe, etc., can no longer be used to filter FB’s audience. This is a big deal since hundreds of major national brands utilize these data platforms across their digital advertising.
It’ll be interesting to see if brands stay with FB even if they can no longer bring their own data to the table, or if they’ll shift spending to other publishers who can safely ingest their data in a secure environment. Lots of dollars at stake with this one – worth keeping an eye on.