Meta introduces new ad targeting limits for teens
The changes are the latest effort to build in some after-the-fact privacy protections for Meta’s youngest users.
Starting next month, Meta will remove the option for targeting advertising to teen users based on gender. They’ll also end advertisers’ ability to target personalized ads to under-18 users based on their in-app activity, including who they follow on Instagram and what Facebook pages they like.
After the changes take effect, personalized ads on Facebook and Instagram will only draw on a user’s age and location to determine relevance (where location is necessary to assess which products and services are available in a user’s area).
Facebook and Instagram will soon roll out new controls for teen users (kids under age 13 aren’t allowed on those apps — technically). Teens will be given an option to “see less” of a given topic, shaping which ads the platform will serve them.
Why we care. Advertisers will no longer be able to target users under the age of 18 based on in-app activity nor target their age or location, except where relevant. You’ll need to restrategize if you advertise a product or service to users under 18.
Not new. Meta recently rolled out new privacy updates for everyone under the age of 16, or 18 in some countries. Starting in November, teens will default to more private settings when they join Facebook. For teens already on the platform, Meta recommends making these changes manually. The new privacy settings affect:
- Who can see their friends list
- Who can see the people, Pages and lists they follow
- Who can see posts they’re tagged in on their profile
This month Meta was fined 390 million euros ($414 million) after European Union (EU) regulators found it had illegally forced users to accept personalized ads.
Google blocks ad targeting for kids under 18. In 2021 Google updated its policies around minors online, letting those under 18 remove images from search. “Children are at particular risk when it comes to controlling their imagery on the internet. In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce a new policy that enables anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from Google Image results,” wrote Mindy Brooks, product and UX director for kids and families at Google.
YouTube will change the default upload mode to private for kids aged 13-17. SafeSearch will be automatically turned on for those under 18 using Google Search. Those under 18 will not be able to turn on their location history.
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