- Facebook told advertisers back in June that changes in how they count people for advertising purposes would be coming. Today, those changes start to come into effect.
- Users who haven’t linked their Facebook and Instagram accounts will be counted as two separate users, potentially inflating ad reach estimates for advertisers.
- Facebook claims this move is primarily to allow users more control over how their personal information is used. Advertisers are skeptical though.
Another change is coming into effect for two of the world’s largest social media platforms – Facebook and Instagram. This time though, it will primarily affect advertisers. The social network announced that users who have not linked their Facebook and Instagram in the Accounts Center will be counted as two separate entities for ad purposes. So, if your accounts are not linked, the social network will assume that one user’s Instagram and Facebook profiles (even if they’re under the same email address) are actually two different users.
Facebook introduced Accounts Center in September 2020, which is located in Instagram’s, Messenger’s, and Facebook’s settings. It allows users to connect their accounts, enabling features such as cross-posting content, a single login credential, Facebook pay, and much more. Because of these functions, many users have synchronized their accounts. Advertisers will still see these users, who have opted into connecting their accounts, as one entity.
However, users who haven’t synced their Facebook and Instagram and those who opt to un-sync in their Accounts Center will be counted as separate entities in the ad performance stats.
This change may cause Facebook’s ad reach numbers to look better, though they say it should not have a significant impact on campaign reach because they’ve altered its Potential Reach estimates to be displayed in ranges instead of specific numbers. This change was made as Facebook faced legal challenges with fake and duplicate accounts in their approximations.
This change also comes as users start to demand more control over their data.
Graham Mudd, Facebook’s VP of Product Marketing, shared, “This update aligns with trends of offering people more control over how their information is used for ads and is consistent with evolving advertising, privacy, and regulatory environments.”
However, many advertisers are critical of this change, citing issues with Facebook using it to inflate the numbers under the guise of “respecting users.”
Either way, it’s happening, and it’s unlikely that it’ll cause a mass exodus of advertisers from the Facebook and Instagram platforms. One the coming months will tell how this impacts ad reach and how advertisers and users will respond.