Facebook Inc will stop allowing advertisers to target people under 18 on its platforms based on their interests or their activity on other sites, it said on Tuesday in a slew of announcements about young users.
The change means advertisers will soon be able to target under-18s only by age, gender or location on Facebook, its Messenger service and its photo-sharing platform Instagram. In a blog post, Instagram said it was making the change because it agreed with youth advocates that young people might not be equipped to make decisions about targeting.
“We already give people ways to tell us that they would rather not see ads based on their interests or on their activities on other websites and apps, such as through controls within our ad settings,” Facebook said in a statement announcing the new policy. “But we’ve heard from youth advocates that young people may not be well equipped to make these decisions. We agree with them, which is why we’re taking a more precautionary approach in how advertisers can reach young people with ads.”
This being said, there would be no changes to the user data the company collects. By introducing such target-oriented changes for Facebook’s young users, advertisers will soon be able to view such users only through parameters like their age, gender, Instagram account, Messenger, or location on Facebook.
This means advertisers will no longer be able to see these users’ preferences on the internet and in turn, sell to them on that basis. Instagram in a blog post stated that it was going ahead with such a change after agreeing with youth advocates on the issue of young users not being able to make the best decisions on targeted marketing.
The company said on Tuesday it was working on an “Instagram experience for tweens.” It has said the idea of a youth-focused app is to provide parents greater transparency and controls on what younger children who want to access Instagram are doing.
Several major social media companies have also rolled out versions of their apps for younger audiences, from Facebook’s Messenger Kids to Alphabet Inc-owned YouTube Kids.