New Tool Will Let Users Clear History on Facebook, Offer Greater Transparency for Marketing Data and Facebook Ads
Have you ever searched for something on Amazon or another online store then watched, mildly creeped out, as Facebook Ads suddenly start promoting exactly what you looked for? It’s a little disconcerting–and Facebook agrees. That’s why they’re introducing a “clear history” that will allow users to delete the off-site activity that marketers track through the Facebook pixel. While this is great for transparency and offers a more ethical approach to user data and how it is used in marketing, it does mean some significant changes for digital marketers using Facebook.
How Does the Facebook Pixel Work? How is it Changing?
The Facebook Pixel is a feature that tracks when Facebook users visit advertiser websites, allowing that information to be used for ad targeting on Facebook itself. Basically, it’s a marketing tool that makes it easier to target specific audiences and users already interested in a topic or product. It uses off-site data to help marketers make more effective ads and serve up ads that directly target primed users. As mentioned above, though, the targeting can come across as creepy, especially when it runs into the idiosyncrasies of human behaviour. Clear History is the name of Facebook’s platform tool that will let users see all the tracking, pixel, and search data and then opt-out of the tracking.
What Does this Mean For Marketers?
Basically, this tool is an opt-in feature. If users want this sort of tracking and marketing info, they don’t need to do a thing–but considering Facebook’s recent history, it’s likely more and more users will want to opt out. This means that marketers dependent on data from the Facebook Pixel and other channels might be in for a bit of a rough time adjusting to these changes. Targeted ads are great when done properly, but no one wants to see tons of ads for a screen protector once they’ve looked up tips for repairing their phone screen. Facebook is attempting to make things a bit more transparent and open, at least with regards to off-site data and targeting. Our advice? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to advertising, and develop and grow your own audience!