Third Party Data Will No Longer Be Accessible to Advertisers on Facebook’s Ad Platform.


On March 28th Facebook announced that it would be shutting down the use of Partner Categories in their advertising platform in stages over the next six months.

What does that mean for advertisers and companies who rely on Facebook advertising? Well, it depends on how much first party information your business has on its customers and what kind of Facebook advertising you’re doing (or planning to do – it’s never too late to start).

The Details

So, what exactly does “shutting down the use of Partner Categories” mean?

Essentially advertisers will no longer have the option to target ads to users based on information that Facebook itself doesn’t collect. Advertisers will no longer be able to use information on offline behaviors, collected by data brokers like Acxiom and Experian, for ad targeting. This means the change primarily impacts companies who rely on information like homeownership status or purchasing behaviors for ad targeting.

But don’t fret.

Because Facebook knows how what kinds of posts users like and interact with, there will still be plenty of options for ad targeting based on interests and hobbies as well as any demographic information users put into their own profiles and accounts.

The Outcomes

Companies that sell directly to their customers (and collect customer information) will be largely unaffected by Facebook’s most recent change. Brands like these often use customer lists, custom audiences, and lookalikes to reach users that have already interacted with them online or instore – often in retargeting campaigns. All this first party information is still usable in the ad platform as the company itself provides it.

Companies that do not sell directly to customers, like car manufacturers, or that do not have a lot of data on their customers will feel the weight of this change. For companies that relied on offline information to build their ideal audiences on Facebook, strategy changes will need to be made.

That being said, these companies still have plenty of options with Facebook Advertising. Using email addresses, companies can craft customer lists and build lookalikes audiences, giving them the opportunity to speak directly to current customers and non-customers that fit similar profiles. Demographic information on a company’s best clients lends well to creating brand awareness campaigns. As Facebook continues to update its custom audience offering, companies will be able to build up more refined audiences of users who have previously interacted with certain ads the company has already run.


Facebook’s changes will influence how companies utilize ad targeting, but there’s no need to run for the hills just yet.


If you want to know more about how these changes may affect your business’ Facebook advertising, or your overall social media advertising strategy, contact our expert social media team.



Kelly Weber is a Junior Marketing Manager and Social Media Specialist at Response Mine. Working with both B2C and B2B clients, she has developed a holistic view of social media’s potential to help businesses achieve their goals – whatever they may be. When not in the office, you will definitely be able to find her at a movie theater.
0/5 (0 Reviews)

Subscribe to the Blog