Facebook's privacy changes aimed at helping to protect children under 18 will force brands looking to reach younger audiences on its platforms. One way to do this could be through influencer marketing.
“What this means for advertisers is that they can no longer spend dollars chasing down their audience, but instead find organic and meaningful ways to meet their audience where they are already tuning in,” Gabe Feldman, senior business development lead at Viral Nation, an influencer marketing agency, said in an email. “My prediction is that with this change, advertisers will be reallocating their budgets towards things like influencer marketing, branded content, and owned channel growth.”
In a few weeks, advertisers will only be able to target people under 18 based on their age, gender, and location on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Previously, advertisers could also use targeting options like teens’ interests or activities on other apps and websites. Facebook and Instagram users can change their ad settings to not receive targeted ads, and Instagram does not allow users who are 13 and under to have an account. But the company says it heard from youth advocates that older teens may not be well equipped to make these decisions. The new rules will even apply to Custom Audiences, which go beyond basic demographic characteristics. They can be based on an outside source like a brand's customer email list or its website visitors, and allow brands to find those customers on Facebook. Not only will Facebook’s internal targeting not allow it, but brands cannot bring their own under-18 audience data.
“I think this is a good move from Facebook. Minors shouldn’t be hyper-targeted by specific advertisements based on their interests or cross-apps tracking, especially for certain industries such as personal finance,” says Alessandro Bogliari, CEO of the Influencer Marketing Factory. “Teens and kids might sign up for expensive services without even knowing it.”
But the change could cause brands to start diversifying away from paid ads and refocusing on organic reach, perhaps turning to influencers to reach a younger audience. Think “kidfluencers” such as YouTube’s Ryan Kaji of “Ryan Toys Review,” or Lincoln Markham of “What’s Inside?”
“This might impact mostly advertisers that solely rely on paid media, while influencers will not be that impacted since they create organic content that doesn’t include paid targeting unless a brand wants to boost organic content using paid media,” Bogliari added. “Overall, I personally think this can be a good starting point in order to create a safer environment for kids and teens on major social media channels.”