Understanding Facebook’s Seismic Shift in Third-Party Data

Seismic Reading Behind Facebook Logo

From Facebook:

“We want to let advertisers know that we will be shutting down Partner Categories. This product enables third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook. While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook. They went into more detail with many advertisers as to the specific dates they will be implementing these changes.

– May 10: After this date, you will no longer be able to create or edit campaign using Partner Categories built on audiences from the UK, Germany, and France; however, they will be allowed to continue running until May 24.

– May 25: We will no longer deliver to Partner Categories built on audiences from the UK, Germany, and France, and these targeting options will no longer be available for use on our platform. You will be notified to update any targeting containing impacted Partner Categories before this date.

– June 30: Last day for creating new or editing existing campaigns using non-EU Partner Categories; they will be allowed to run until September 30.

– October 1: All other Partner Categories will no longer be available as targeting options on our platform and we will stop delivering against these audiences. You will be notified to update your targeting by this date.”

So what does it mean for businesses wanting to advertise on Facebook? Does this mean that Facebook advertising won’t be as effective moving forward? The answer is, it depends. Many businesses and less seasoned marketers are freaking out about the idea that we no longer will be able to target based on income, job titles and other demographic information that are pulled from sources such as Epsilon, Acxiom, Datalogix, etc. While not being able to utilize third-party data (which is a standard practice in marketing) limits the type of targeting you can do on Facebook, Facebook’s secret weapon is its internal algorithm. Marketers who understand how it works and what components drive which outcomes in the algorithm can actually benefit from this new announcement. Marketers who are worried that their ads will no longer be effective because of these new measures were focusing on the wrong components of Facebook ads all along. Seasoned marketers understand that the basic backbone of all Facebook ads, regardless of the industry, is built on four factors:

  • Trust

  • Strength of content

  • Targeting with enough flexibility to allow Facebook’s AI to help with the sub-audience targeting

  • Understanding what exactly you want Facebook to do for your business (goals)


The area that most businesses screw up through Facebook marketing has relatively little to do with specific demographic targeting, but everything to do with trust. They screw up their campaigns because they are too focused on conversions/sales. Even with lookalike or custom audiences, to make the sale you need trust. The best-targeted audience in the world will not convert if they don’t trust you. You need to provide a variety of ads throughout your customer’s journey that makes them aware of who you are, what you do, and how what you do provides a solution to their problems. How are they supposed to buy something from you when they don’t know anything about what you do as a business? Too many businesses only produce ads that are focused on conversion and not enough of them focus on awareness or engagement that helps build trust between them and their potential customers.

Strength of Content

Most ads are simply not strong enough relative to the campaign objective. Yes, they have plenty of call to action (CTA) buttons, but not all ads should be conversion ads. Are you creating engaging ads that will bring a new audience or group into your existing marketing funnels? Are you creating engaging content simply for the sake of engagement? Are you building out ads that help with brand recall and recognition? Ads need to be thought through and produced for all stages of the marketing funnel, not just for trying to make the sale.


With the new changes, this is what everyone’s focus is on. As I mentioned earlier, not being able to utilize third-party data will limit the type of targeting marketers will be able to do. But it will not impact the effectiveness of those ads if marketers make the proper adjustment to them now. Experienced Facebook marketers understand their role relative to Facebook’s AI when it comes to Facebook advertising. They understand better than most the balance of knowing how frequently to update and change the targeting and/or creative of those ads based on data that they are collecting. However, seasoned marketers understand that most of this stuff is noise. Third-party audience targeting is not the main driving force behind the effectiveness of ads and experienced marketers understand that we will still be able to utilize the tools that we do have in order to provide a positive ROI for our clients.


Businesses need to understand that they need to have goals beyond simply making sales. Yes, sales are the main focus of your marketing campaign, but there are so many factors that go into making a purchase that if you overlook any of those other components, you will be adversely affecting your sales. Possible Facebook campaigns objectives (goals): Increase awareness Local awareness Reach Traffic Engagement (Post, Page likes, event response, offer claims) Video views Store visits App Install Catalog sales Are you a brand new mom and pop shop and need help with the awareness of your location? Do you have a large Facebook following and are launching a new product line? Perhaps you have plenty of sales but need to focus in on customer retention? The point is that all of these questions would require you to have different objectives set up for your Facebook ads.


The main point of this blog post is to show you all of the factors that go into having a great performing Facebook ad. Yes, the new changes are big and for many marketers who have been focusing on the wrong components, their ads will tank. However, for the businesses and marketers who have been focusing on the most important elements of Facebook ads all along (trust, strength of content, targeting and goals) this is just a little blip in the constantly changing world of social media marketing.

Need a hand in understanding the constantly changing Facebook landscape? Contact us or call us and let our team of expert Facebook experts talk to you about your current Facebook marketing needs. 801-657-4383

Feeling ambitious? Read some more:

portfolio image

Why Partnering with a Full-Service Marketing Agency Is a Cost-Effective Choice

Marketing in today’s ever-changing digital landscape requires highly specialized skills and in-depth knowledge. As a business owner, you might find that you are focused on the day-to-day operations that keep everything running smoothly, leaving you with little time to acquire

portfolio image

Marketing Mastery: Your One-Stop Growth Solution

    Think of effective marketing like an engine that fuels brand awareness, customer engagement, and revenue generation. It’s all about getting the word out there in a way that connects with people and makes them excited about what you

portfolio image

How Epic Marketing Transforms Businesses from Concept to Triumph

Success in business often hinges on effective marketing strategies that captivate audiences, drive engagement, and boost revenue. But for many entrepreneurs and business owners, navigating the complexities of marketing to achieve these goals can be daunting, if not downright overwhelming.