What advertisers need to know about Facebook’s new Off-Facebook Activity Tool

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In June 2019 Facebook will be rolling out a new tool allowing users more visibility and control over their off-Facebook activity data. The tool will let users see a list of all apps Facebook shares data with through Facebook’s business tools (the Facebook Pixel, SDK and Facebook Offline Conversions API). Users will be given the option to clear their history and stop sharing information with certain apps in the future.

If a user chooses to clear their history, Facebook will disconnect any activity previously received from the user’s account by any app or site using Facebook’s business tools. Facebook will keep the user’s information but it will no longer be available for advertisers to use for targeting. For any users who decide to opt out from sharing their future activity with specific apps, data about their activity won’t be available to advertisers.

In this blog, we walk you through how those changes will affect businesses advertising on Facebook, what to expect and how to prepare for the changes.


More transparency is a good thing   

Generally being transparent with the way you use personal data is good for your business. Giving people more information and control over how advertisers use their information makes them feel better about advertising and helps build stronger relationships with businesses. Being more transparent with your customers and prospects about your marketing practices is more likely to improve your relationship rather than damage it.

Your ad targeting might be affected

While targeting based on on-Facebook data such as interest targeting won’t be affected, the changes will likely impact targeting options based on data coming from Facebook’s business tools such as Facebook pixel. Facebook will not use data for targeting for users who have decided to disconnect their off-Facebook data. Businesses need to keep in mind that this could impact targeting options powered by Facebook pixel such as re-targeting campaigns and Custom Audiences built from visitors to your website or app.



Measurement will remain unaffected  

The way Facebook measures your campaigns will remain unaffected as it doesn’t rely on personal data. Your Facebook reporting and analytics won’t be affected by the changes.  Facebook has announced they don’t expect any changes to the way your campaigns are tracked and measured after the feature is rolled out. It might be a good idea to keep an eye on off-Facebook targeting campaigns after the feature is rolled out and compare results to campaigns your run prior to the feature becoming available to gauge what impact the changes will have on your advertising.


Your CRM data becomes even more valuable

Limited re-targeting audiences on Facebook will mean that a lot of companies will need to rely on their own CRM data to run re-targeting campaigns. Creating Custom Audiences based on your CRM data will be a way to work around the fact that Facebook pixel won’t have 100% coverage. You can also create Lookalike audiences based on your CRM lists for prospecting campaigns. This way you will be able to identify potential customers regardless of their off-Facebook activity settings. In order for those tactics to work you need to make sure that you have a reliable and fast way of syncing your CRM lists to Facebook and back such as Driftrock’s audience sync.


How to prepare for the changes

  • Build custom audiences based on your CRM lists.

  • Keep your CRM database up to date and make sure you remove any invalid or fake records to avoid wasting ad budget.

  • Experiment with more on-Facebook data based targeting such as Interest targeting in advance in order to get a sense of what results you could be getting with alternative targeting.

  • Monitor off-Facebook targeting campaigns as the new feature rolls out to determine the impact it will have on your marketing.

  • Create prospecting campaigns to help the Facebook algorithm relearn the way to reach users who have cleared their off-Facebook data history but haven’t opted out of it being used in the future.

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Iva Daneva