Facebook outlined a significant change in a new update to how it counts user accounts when planning and measuring ads. The tech giant will treat users who do not have their Facebook and Instagram accounts linked in Accounts Center separately for ad metrics. Whereas, accounts that are connected in the Accounts Center will be counted as one person. The new update will roll out in the next few weeks. The privacy-centric course correction is likely to help advertisers to reach more accounts.
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Graham Mudd, Vice president of product marketing for ads explained in a blog post that before Facebook counted users with multiple accounts as a single person for ad purposes. They counted them only once if their Facebook and Instagram accounts were linked via those apps or believed that the same person used both. For instance, people who accessed Facebook and Instagram via the same device or shared the same email address across the two platforms were counted as one person when they interacted with ads.
It makes sense for Facebook to honor this choice for ad purposes proactively. As a result, it will not get called out later for linking accounts without the user’s knowledge. Graham Mudd wrote in the blog,
“This update aligns with trends of offering people more control over how their information is used for ads and is consistent with evolving advertising, privacy and regulatory environments.”
How Will This Affect The Advertisers?
Earlier in June, Facebook informed advertisers of how users will be counted, which includes in-product notifications. With this new update, Facebook will rely on preferences from the Accounts Center – like whether accounts are linked or unlinked – to inform advertisers’ planning and campaign measurement.
In the blog post, Graham Mudd said that advertisers won’t see a substantial impact on reported campaign reach. However, noted that keeping unlinked account holders separate for advertising purposes, advertisers may see an impact on campaign planning estimates and performance reporting for unique metrics. Advertisers can see increases in their pre-campaign estimates, including estimated audience size.
Facebook has recently retitled the ‘potential reach’ metric as ‘estimated audience size’. It will now display a range of numbers to advertisers for their marketing campaigns instead of a specific number. In this way, Facebook is responding to ongoing lawsuits over how it calculates potential reach.
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