Facebook has responded to the heavy criticism of its seemingly lax treatment of user data by removing access to third-party data providers on the platform.
Currently, you can overlay data from data providers like Experian and Acxiom on top of remarketing audiences or core audiences from Facebook. This data is available as ‘Partner Categories’ within the targeting options on Facebook.
Although this facility is being phased out globally over the next six months, we gather that advertisers in the UK, France and Germany can expect this facility to be removed very quickly.
10 May: you can no longer create or edit campaigns using Partner Categories based on audiences from the UK, France and Germany. However current campaigns will continue to run for a further 2 weeks.
25 May: delivery to Partner Categories in UK, France and Germany will end.
Keen-eyed readers will spot that the 25th May is also the first enforcement date of GDPR, so this change is more likely to relate to GDPR housekeeping than any specific concerns about how Facebook is managing user data.
In terms of actions, advertisers will still be able to access third party data across a wide range of programmatic display options – what is disappearing is the ability to combine that with audience data on Facebook.
That said, the next few weeks could be a great opportunity to test the impact of third-party data on customer acquisition activity within Facebook, with a view to rolling out successful audiences into programmatic after the 25th May.