Six Post-Cambridge Analytica Facebook Changes Every Brand Needs to Know

Unless you live on the moon, you’ve probably noticed that it’s been a difficult couple of weeks for Facebook. We’re not here to judge (we’ll leave that to the US Congress), but we can confirm that there are six changes that will affect how brands use Facebook – and they look something like this:


1. Partner Categories

Partner Categories was a third-party targeting tool which was available to agencies and account-managed brands. Simply put, it allowed advertisers to target users based on third-party data supplied by Experian, Axicom and Datalogix, giving the opportunity to target consumers by everything from their household income to the mileage on their car.

No more though. Zuckerberg has killed this in a bid to get his house in order after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Will we miss it? A little, although its reliability was often called into question.


2. Questions Around Custom Audiences

Facebook’s Custom Audiences tool allows advertisers to upload CRM data (email addresses and telephone numbers) directly to the platform and use them as a targeting option.

You will still be able to do this, but Facebook will now ask you to confirm that data is fully consented before running any targeted ads.

With GDPR only six weeks away, this change isn’t surprising and we can’t see any issues here (assuming you are GDPR compliant, of course).


3. All New Facebook Business Tools

In the wake of the scandal, Facebook has created a new service: Facebook Business Tools.

This basically refers to the tools that are provided to help website owners, publishers, developers, advertisers and business partners (and their customers) integrate, use and exchange information with the platform.

This is just an amalgamation of existing tools and should take a matter of minutes to get your head around.


4. Updated Terms of Service

Facebook is updating its terms of service and data policy to better spell out what information it collects and how it processes it across the family of apps (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp).

Look out for updates in your newsfeed.


5. Restricted Data Access

Facebook will now reduce the data that an app can request – limiting it to name, profile photo and email address.

Facebook will also need to approve all apps that request access to information, such as check-ins, likes, photos, posts, videos, events and groups.

In short, if you’re planning to launch an app, it may take longer to get approved as it will have to go through a higher level of scrutiny. You have been warned.


6. Closing Instagram’s API

The Instagram API was open…and now it’s closed again (*sobs*).

Worse still, it will remain closed until Facebook establishes a better way to share data with third parties.

Basically, you now need to use a workaround tool to schedule content, or just post directly to the platform – joy!


The author: Jane Ainsworth is managing director of WPR. She has over 20 years’ experience in developing and delivering communications strategies for consumer brands including Dunelm, Tesco, Mothercare, Greene King, John Lewis, Bullring, Beaverbrooks and Westfield.