What Facebook’s Move to Shut Down Partner Categories Means for You

Erics Facebook Update Post
Eric Yarnik
April 23, 2018

Amid the ongoing discussions of Facebook’s data collection and use of personal data, the tech giant announced that it is sunsetting the ad targeting option Partner Categories. This feature allowed Facebook advertisers to target users through audience targets supplied by third-party data aggregators such as Experian and Acxiom.

If you’re advertising on Facebook, you might even not be aware that you are utilizing this targeting. The Partner targeting blends in with other demographic and interest targeting that’s supported by Facebook itself. To check if your targets are considered Partner Categories, open your ad set targeting and scroll over your targets. On the right-hand side, under “Source,” you can determine if your audience is from a third-party source.


Facebook ads mom demographic targeting


Facebook does not offer a comprehensive list of all the target options that were offered through Partner Categories, however, advertisers can try reaching out to Facebook ad support to get a list of ad sets that are using that targeting.

Thankfully, this move to shut down Partner categories isn’t immediate. You have time to test new audiences in the place of Partner Categories.

Partner Categories will be completely retired by May 25th for certain international markets and by October 1st in the US. US advertisers will no longer be able to create new or edit existing ad sets using Partner Categories after June 30th.

Any questions on how this change will affect your Facebook advertising campaigns? We’re here to help. Contact us.

Eric Yarnik
Director, Search & Social Advertising

Eric Yarnik is a Northwestern University Alum who considers writing the Perfect Search Ping Pong Power Rankings Column to be one of his favorite tasks at work. If he had to pick one fictional character to be friends with, it’d have to be the one who lives in a pineapple under the sea.

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