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How Facebook’s Targeting Changes in 2022 Affect Advertisers

As with every evolving platform, Facebook has changed one of its most important advertising features—ad targeting. You’ve probably heard that Facebook announced that certain detailed targeting options will be phased off in early 2022. How do you think this will affect Facebook advertising companies?

In the following paragraphs, find out what the new targeting changes entail and how you can reach your target audience in some other ways.

What Are Facebook’s Upcoming Targeting Changes?

Here’s a quick rundown of Facebook changes on its targeting feature:

According to Facebook, “starting January 19, 2022, we will remove Detailed Targeting options that relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as options referencing causes, organisations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion or sexual orientation.”

The popular social media platform has given several examples, including “Lung Cancer Awareness,” “World Diabetes Day,” and “chemotherapy” for health causes. They gave “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture” as examples of terms used to describe sexual orientation. For religious activities and groupings, they provided “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays” as examples. 

The other topics included in their list are political beliefs, social issues, causes, organisations and figures.

What Caused This Decision?

This announcement comes in the wake of mounting public scrutiny, FTC antitrust charges, and progressively rising customer privacy concerns. Facebook also has a significant rebranding into the newly proclaimed Meta.

Facebook announced that they heard concerns from experts that targeting tools like these could be used in ways that lead to unpleasant experiences for people in underrepresented groups. While this step may present a problem for advertisers who responsibly use these deep targeting capabilities, it also eliminates the potential that they will be exploited.

It’s understandable that Facebook would prioritise limiting the probability of perceived poor experiences on the platform, especially in this time of increased scrutiny. It’s also in advertisers’ best interests to keep making Facebook an appealing option for social media users.

How Do These Changes Affect Online Advertisers?

While some marketers are in favour of the shift, others are concerned about the ramifications for businesses who use this targeting in the context of an already fast-changing advertising industry. Cause-based groups, political parties, healthcare companies and a slew of other organisations will have to modify how they connect with their constituents.

Facebook also indicated that they’re working on more Ad Controls to allow users to see fewer advertisements linked to gambling, weight loss, and other undisclosed categories. They also informed marketers that consumers can now see fewer political, parenting, alcohol, and pet-related advertisements.

How Do Advertisers Adjust to the New Targeting Rules?

Thankfully, Facebook announced several suggestions for advertisers to reach their target audience. On Facebook-owned properties, Engagement Custom Audiences are being used to gather relevant intent. Individuals who like your page right now or users who watched one of your videos in the news feed are two instances. These audiences can also be used as a seed list to build a lookalike audience.

Customers who engage with a company’s website can still be targeted using Website Custom Audiences. They can also be used as a seed list for a Lookalike Audience. Facebook suggests that brick-and-mortar retailers use location targeting to reach clients in their immediate vicinity. 

Finally, customer lists are a fantastic method to stay in touch with your clients if you have their permission to do so. To get the most out of customer lists, try segmenting them and customising your messaging.


If these new changes are a lot to take, you can get the services of a Facebook marketing agency that performs full-service ad campaigns on Google and Facebook. It’s best if you can have everything you’d expect from a standard digital marketing agency—from ad production to campaign management. Digital marketing agencies are always on top of the updates and changes in social media platforms, so you’re sure your ads are reaching your target audience.

If you’re in need of a digital marketing agency in Melbourne, you can trust Relevant Digital to take care of your specific online marketing needs. We are Australia’s best-performing digital marketing agency and Facebook marketing and Shopify experts. Contact us today!