HomeSocial MediaNo Partner Categories Targeting for Facebook Ad Post Cambridge Analytica Incident

No Partner Categories Targeting for Facebook Ad Post Cambridge Analytica Incident

So something was about to come and it came so early from Facebook! The recent announcement came from Facebook that they are now shutting down the ‘Partner Categories’ to target the ads. It means the advertisers can now not use Partner Categories Targeting in coming next 6 months time period.
The feature of targeting audience through partner categories was launched in 2013 when Facebook partnered some major data brokers. Facebook News report said:

“Through new partnerships with top online and offline purchase data providers Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom, and BlueKai, Facebook is now allowing advertisers to target hashed lists of existing and potential customers, and categories like role-playing gamers or soda drinkers.”

So What is ‘Partner Categories’?

Simply putting, these categories include the data which is given by major data mining companies to Facebook. These companies curate the data of the users to learn their activities, interests and behaviours away from Facebook that can be used by the advertisers in Ad targeting. So basically Facebook leverage the pool of data in 3 ways:

  1. The data it collects from the users on the basis of their Facebook usage habit (e.g. pages they like and content they engagee to)
  2. Information from the advertisers (e.g membership status in the loyalty program)
  3. Data obtained from third party providers (that is the partner categories)

Out of these 3 ways, Facebook feels comfortable with the first two but now not with the third one. So it will still continue to use the data from the first two ways but will stop using the data from the major data mining companies to target with Facebook ads.
In 2013, Facebook was working on its algorithm changes and making a shift from organic results to paid results. To provide the better-paid results to the advertisers on Facebook, it had to use the data provided by the major data mining companies. So these companies were collecting the data of the users away from Facebook and Facebook was giving this data to the advertisers who could target those people with their Facebook ads.
For example, If a car dealer wants to target people with the ad on Facebook to those who own a particular car model, he can use the Partner categories data available in the ‘Detailed Targeting‘ opting in the Ad campaign. For example:

There are many such partner categories but not available in all countries.  There are 7 such countries are where the facility of the targeting is available i.e. Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, UK, and the USA. The some of the partner categories included are:

  • Automotive shoppers
  • Business Travellers
  • Company size
  • Charitable donations
  • Credit union members
  • Corporate executives

So, when you surf any pages on websites other than Facebook or you do any actions on those websites then these companies collect your information and then pass to Facebook. Facebook matches these data with your profile and advertisers target you based on the activities you have performed.

What is the reason for removal of Partner Categories Targeting?

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there was so much pressure on Facebook to come out with some solution of data breaching. Facebook took important decisions including cracking down app approval and improving the privacy controls.
One can still use the Partner categories for coming 6 months to target the audience with ads but after that, the category will be removed. The Facebook marketing is going see many such updates in coming few months as Facebook has a bigger challenge to win the trust of the users and advertisers both.

Bhautik Sheth
Bhautik Sheth
Mr. Bhautik Sheth is a Founder of iVIPANAN Digital Marketing and Management Services started in 2014. He has more than 12 years of experience. He holds MCA, MBA, PGDBM, PGDRM degrees and also recognized by Google Ads certification, Bing Ads Accredited Professional and Hubspot Inbound Certification. He is a visiting faculty at VNSGU and former visiting faculty at Auro University. He offers his services to Uka Tarsadia University. He is a speaker at Facebook Josh Talks StartAb and Global Digital Marketing Summit by Texila Conference. He is a chief organizer of Social Media Day Surat since 2016. He is a former online trainer of Google and Manipal Global Education program. He has been associated as a Trainer with International Organization for Importer and Exporter (IOIE) and Being Exporter in Surat. He has trained more than 50,000 people for Digital marketing through Seminars, Webinars, Workshops and Training Programs on digital marketing at national & international level. He has presented many Research Papers on Digital Marketing at national -international conferences out of which many have been chosen as best papers and his 7 research papers on digital marketing have already been published in countrywide and global journals. He has developed academic content using instructional designing for various management subjects for Manipal University’s online portal EduNxt. Blessed with a perfect blend of Management skills and creative thinking ability, Mr. Bhautik Sheth has been rendering his services as a Digital Marketing Consultant to SMEs as well as large scale businesses, Service industry and the Start ups. He has worked with 50+ companies as a consultant. He received an Award of “Distinguished Digital Leader” at Digital Marketing Leadership Summit 2018 organized by XIME, Chennai.


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