If it seems like Mark Zuckerberg can’t stay out of the news lately, you aren’t wrong. He and the company were recently held under a magnifying glass for its role in the latest US Presidential Election and its struggle to combat fake news.
The media coverage sparked a heightened stream of updates from the social media behemoth, including a major Facebook privacy change made in April you won’t want to let slip under the radar.
Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know about these privacy tweaks and how it impacts you–the user.
The New Facebook Privacy Change
Whether you are a personal user, a business, or both, the latest Facebook privacy changes have made alterations to their policy and function worth considering as you use the platform now as well as in the future.
Don’t panic, though. While these changes may tweak the way you use the platform, overall they are positive adjustments.
Lately, the world has been expressing its feelings toward how Facebook collects and utilizes user data. When users began coupling complaints with the #DeleteFacebook movement, the company wasted no time in addressing their concerns.
The result is a newer, better Facebook experience for users and marketers alike.
New Privacy Settings Give Users More Control Over Shared Information
As users log into their personal profile and explore their menu options, they will begin to discover a newly designed shortcut for managing privacy settings.
There are two sections you’ll want to explore in this area. One is the privacy tab while the other is called Ads.
Exploring Your Page Privacy Settings
We’ll begin with the former. The privacy tab, while not new, is certainly worth reviewing as it controls your default privacy settings.
To access it, you can follow these 3 simple steps:
- Click on the arrow on the right side of your blue menu bar to open a drop-down menu
- Click on the “Settings” option
- Under “Settings”, click on the “Privacy” tab located on the left-hand menu
This may seem like a small list of options, but they’re pretty extensive. These settings cover everything from how users can find you to what elements of your profiles and posts various audiences can see.
You’ll want to take your time running through each option to make sure your settings are set the way you want. If you’re looking for a clean slate that will make all of your formerly public posts more private, try the “Limit Past Posts” option.
This blanket option will automatically revert all public posts to “Friends Only”. However, keep in mind the change is permanent. If you use this feature and want to make certain posts public again, you’ll have to manually find those posts and change their audience setting.
Exploring Your Ad Privacy Settings
Next, there are the new setting options under the “Ad” tab. This tab is located on the same left-hand menu as “Privacy”. Here you will discover ways you can limit what information on your profile is collected and shared with advertisers.
- Various interests attached to your account based on industry
- Advertisers you’ve engaged with
- Information about you advertisers can use to target you better
- What kind of advertisements you’ll permit within your user experience
Keep in mind this isn’t a one-time setting to adjust. You’ll need to monitor certain aspects of your ad settings if you want to keep your interests and advertising lists clear.
Yet it has far more visibility than users had previously, and it gives them some semblance of control over the data they share online.
The Introduction of GDPR and Other Facebook Updates Geared Toward Advertising
Beyond personal control settings, there are changes being made on a global scale that has a direct impact on how social media marketing teams utilize Facebook’s advertising platform.
Recently it was announced that the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, will be rolling out on May 25, 2018. Although its regulation is only upheld within Europe, its influence is global.
Facebook will be obligated to comply with the regulation. How this will impact advertising has yet to be seen. We will not fully comprehend the scope of its impact until the regulation is in effect, but so far the pros seem to outweigh the cons.
Facebook’s new privacy update stands compliant with this regulation, plus it is implementing a Data Abuse Bounty Program, restrictions on what data apps can pull, and new transparency behind electoral advertising for better accountability.
These new programs and procedures will allow the platform to crack down on malicious or questionable content syndicated across the social media site through advertising campaigns.
But What About Audience Targeting?
There will be some limitations added to audience targeting. Information collected from third-party sources is going to be eliminated. This originally was accessible through the Partners category within Facebook’s advertising platform.
However, this category is going away isn’t a significant blow. Marketers will still be able to use the usual interest targeting and lookalike audience features to hone in on their target audience.
Facebook is also implementing a feature in which users can learn more about the author or digital publication behind the articles advertised or shared within their stream.
Ultimately, these changes are all positive–unless you’re the root of the problem, of course. Fake news producers and those looking to manipulate electoral campaigns will certainly have a harder time getting their content approved and in front of Facebook’s vast audience.
But regular advertisements for legitimate companies Facebook ads will feel like business as usual. Facebook’s changes are geared toward protecting its users, not losing business.
Since advertising is a core source of income for this platform, you can bet they will do what it takes to ensure its social media marketing tools as beneficial as possible.
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