Why Is Meta Removing Some Facebook Targeting Options In 2022?

Facebook targeting options

If your wonder why Is Meta removing some Facebook targeting options in 2022, scroll down to find out more. 

When Meta, formerly known as Facebook, first introduced the removal of Detailed Targeting options, the company focused on targeting options regarding individuals and organizations related to sensitive topics.

From January 19, 2022, Meta removed some Detailed Targeting options related to politically or culturally polarising topics. These include sexual orientation, health, religion, political affiliation, social issues, race, and ethnicity. Meta also removed specific Facebook targeting options for groups and individuals. 

Existing ad sets with affected targeting options ran until March 17, 2022. But they may require you to update their targeting selections, and if you use them for exclusion purposes, Meta will remove them. After March 17, it is no longer possible to edit prior campaigns that leverage deprecated targeting settings.

But were these changes actually related to only sensitive groups as they announced? After Meta made them, they also made another announcement, which resulted in removing many more Facebook targeting options.

  Facebook targeting options

Why Are These Changes Being Made? 

Because of the concerns about the abuse of Facebook targeting options, the company is limiting more specific targeting. They have received advice from various civil rights experts and policymakers about the abuse of available Facebook targeting options. 

According to Graham Mudd, VP, Ads & Business Product Marketing at Facebook, their decision to remove the Detailed Targeting options wasn’t easy. They know it may negatively impact some businesses and organizations. But they feel confident evolving their ads system to meet the needs of everyone they serve while supporting one of the best things about their platforms—helping people connect with and discover the businesses and organizations they care about.  

Another reason is that due to the EU's more stringent data protection laws (GDPR), Facebook is no longer allowed to target users without their explicit consent. This law took effect in 2018, and the company has been fighting it ever since. But with the broader shift towards more privacy, it seems Facebook has decided to bow to the regulations. 

Although it makes sense on various fronts, it's still another step in the company's effort to reduce its ad targeting options based on discriminatory factors.   

Who Will Facebook Targeting Option Changes Affect The Most? 

These changes could affect various industries such as health-care and political parties. 

They will also affect non-profit advertisers who rely on Facebook to connect people to their causes. Removing these Facebook targeting options makes it harder to reach new users, discouraging many advertisers from continuing their campaigns. It could also cause businesses to alter their approach when it comes to reaching out to their customers.  

Alternative Targeting Products to Reach Your Audiences 

For those still adjusting to new Facebook Targeting option changes, there are a few tools that can help reach people who have shown interest in their content. It would still require more creativity to reach these audiences. 

Even though they may no longer be able to reach some of their audience with targeted audiences, businesses and non-profit organizations can still use Engagement Custom Audiences to reach them. With the help of the Facebook Ads Manager, you can create a custom audience based on the actions people took on your page. 

Recommendations for Alternative Targeting

You can then target those who have already visited or followed your page. Facebook Page engagement, Instagram Account engagement, Video or Event engagement are great ways to target people who interacted with your content. 

You can also reach people who are similar to the audience who have shown interest in your content through Lookalike Audiences. These tools help you get to people similar to those already on your audience lists. 

Website Custom Audiences can help you reach those who have already engaged with your website or product. If you're targeting a specific audience, you can also enter specific URLs for those who visited specific pages.

Facebook targeting options

The Ads Manager's Detailed Targeting expansion tool can also help improve performance. Once finished, it allows Facebook to deliver ads to people who are not part of your targeted audience. 

Facebook targeting options

You can still use location targeting to reach those located near the store or event you are hosting. 

The custom audience lists from a custom audience can still work well if you already have a list of people opting for targeting. 

Broad targeting refers to the type of audience that Facebook uses to find the best possible candidates for an ad. It allows advertisers to reach people who would never have otherwise been considered.  


These Facebook Targeting options changes are a reminder to build up your private data to target specific audiences with more control.  

We're already seeing how Facebook's algorithm changes are affecting our ad sets and campaigns, and we are adapting to what will take us to the metaverse very soon. 

About the Author

Facebook targeting options

Aleksandra Ivanić is a Facebook Ads Specialist at Sellers Alley. She has experience building, maintaining, and running successful digital marketing campaigns. Aleksandra is skilled at creating and implementing client-focused, successful campaigns to improve brand awareness and presence. She has a sound knowledge of running various campaigns for different types of businesses, from B2B Lead Gen to B2C campaigns.


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