It isn’t too difficult to imagine the scale and variety of data Facebook harbours about each of its users. While that sounds like good news for advertisers looking to put relevant messaging in front of the right people, it also creates clutter and detracts from meaningful and effective targeting options.

With that in mind, Facebook has announced that it will begin to de-clutter its ad system by removing infrequently used and outdated interest targeting options. More recently Facebook has begun to analyse targeting terms based on how many advertisers use them and how much they’re spending against them.


Facebook uses a mix of human and automation to analyse user behaviour on the platform and establish which interest-based segments to include in its ad system.

For example, if someone interacts with a post for a particular television programme, Facebook might come to the conclusion that the user is interested in a specific genre.

Over time, Facebook has built a vast list of available targeting. This includes broader interest segments (such as ‘Movies’), down to granular targeting (such as specific movie titles e.g. Avengers: Age of Ultron). This is where interest targeting could see the largest clear out - old movies and band names among other dated cultural references.

VP of Product Marketing at Facebook Graham Mudd said,

“If you only add and never take away, you get to a place where you’re bloated and difficult to use,”


The interest targets set to be removed will no longer be available for new campaigns. Facebook will notify any advertisers who are using the (soon to be) non-existent interest segments at the beginning of August.

There hasn’t been an exact date set of when they will be withdrawn for good, so advertisers will still be able to use them while they gradually phase them out.

Conclusion: What Effect Will This Have?

Most of the targeting being removed probably haven’t and won’t ever be used by most, so advertisers aren’t likely to notice the changes.

Nonetheless, we can hope the declutter and and the more regular maintenance checks carried out by Facebook will mean that the Facebook Advertising platform becomes more efficient and cost-effective for advertisers. And that, clearly, can only be a good thing.

If, however, you have any concerns and/or questions about your own Facebook advertising, please don’t hesitate to get in touch here...