Facebook’s announcement Wednesday that it would ban third-party data partners from directly targeting on its platform hit ad buyers hard.
Previously, buyers could directly apply third-party data segments to their targeting on Facebook through suppliers like Acxiom, Oracle and Experian to enrich Facebook’s data with offline segments.
Now, marketers using segments from third-party data brokers will have to obtain those segments directly from providers and upload them through Custom Audiences – which is both more tedious and expensive. Marketers without quality first-party data could see performance on Facebook decline as a result.
But while some agency execs say this friction is detrimental to certain marketers, others argue it’s a necessary step considering Facebook’s recent troubles and the upcoming GDPR in Europe. To comply, Facebook must turn back time on targeting.
“We’re all characterizing these changes as Facebook goes backward a few years, almost reverting to 2013 capabilities,” said James Douglas, SVP and head of media at IPG’s Reprise.