How will Facebook’s new link history feature affect targeted ads? 

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Meta is introducing a new feature called ‘link history’ for Facebook users. This feature will allow users to view a list of websites they’ve visited using the in-app web browser in the last 30 days. Although it is not yet available for everyone, Meta has confirmed that it will soon be rolling out to all users worldwide. Currently, the feature is only available in the iOS and Android app versions of Facebook.

It’s being touted by Meta as a handy reference for all the links you’ve viewed in-app, meaning that users will “never lose a link again”. However, many are wary that it may be just another way for their data to be tracked. So, what will this mean for marketers using Facebook targeted ads on the platform?

How will it impact users?

Back in 2020, iOS 14 brought in App Tracking Transparency, meaning apps now need to ask your permission to track your data and allow you to opt-out… Good for privacy, bad for Facebook targeting. Since then, marketers have had to adapt to other methods of using data to get ads to the right people on Meta’s platforms. 

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This is why some are raising their concerns about the new link history feature and how it will be used for targeted display ads. Indeed, Meta states in their help blog about the feature that “when link history is on, we may use link history information from Facebook’s Mobile Browser to improve your ads across Meta technologies”. Link history can be switched on or off in the app settings, but the pop-up announcing the feature does push users in the direction of enabling it. 

What does it mean for paid social marketing? 

It’s currently not entirely clear how much impact this will make when it comes to the way that targeted display ads are shown. Tracking user activity between web pages and Meta platforms isn’t exactly new – indeed, installing a Meta Pixel directly to your site is already an effective way to display re-targeting ads on Facebook and Instagram and track the effectiveness of your paid social advertising

We suspect that Meta is implementing what they can to future-proof their platforms from the inevitable changes to tracking that have and will continue to impact the value of ads on Facebook and Instagram. This follows last year’s announcement that users in Europe would be able to remove ads entirely with a paid monthly subscription, allowing Meta to comply with EU data laws.  

For now, targeted display ads on Meta remain a powerful way to get your ads in front of consumers. There are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to boost the performance of your Facebook targeted ads and Meta is constantly rolling out new features to help you find audiences, optimise campaigns, automate processes, and more.  

Want to know more about how you can use paid social ads for your business? Get in touch with us today, we’d love to chat!

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