Facebook and Twitter both released updates to their paid advertising targeting abilities today. To save you some time, I summarized the highlights below:
- Facebook has been steadily growing the amount of online browsing data through its like-enabled buttons that are posted on countless websites across the web.
- Soon, advertisers will be able to use this browsing history to better target their ads towards a specific target audience on Facebook.
- Advertisers have already been able to use re-targeting pixels to message to people who have already been to their own site. This offering gives advertisers the opportunity to market to people who have visited other sites across the web.
- Facebook has chosen not to comply with the do-not-track setting on web browsers, but will allow users to provide feedback within the ads that are being served to them.
- Facebook released a video showing users how they have control over the ad content that they are being served.
- Twitter now allows advertisers to re-target users who have been to their site with promoted tweets or accounts on Twitter.
- Unlike Facebook, Twitter does comply with do-not-track, so users who do not wish to be tracked will not be tracked on Twitter.
- Advertisers will have to place a tracking pixel on their site in order for this targeting to be implemented.
- This targeting can be implemented directly through Twitter’s User Interface.
After many years of speculation, the advertising industry is starting to see how Facebook intends to use its very large amount of data. Once this targeting capability is released, advertisers will be able to implement targeting parameters on Facebook that will make their ads more relevant and will therefore improve overall advertising performance on Facebook. Twitter is stepping in the right direction by offering more targeting options, but is still behind Facebook in the wealth of data that advertisers can use to target their customers online.
Facebook is likely to receive some flack from online privacy advocates by not honoring do-not-track settings for their users, but with a user base as loyal as theirs, they don’t have much to be worried about. I challenge them to ditch their Facebook account.