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Instagram is disabling interest and activity-based targeting of underage users

Beginning in a few weeks, advertisers will only be able to target Instagram, Facebook and Messenger users under the age of 18 (or older in certain territories) based on their age, gender and location, Instagram announced Tuesday. As such, previously available targeting options, such as those based on interests or activity on other sites or apps, will become unavailable to advertisers.

Why we care

If you’re managing Instagram, Facebook or Messenger ad campaigns that target minors based on their interests and activities across the web, then you’ll need to find an alternative way to reach them as you’ll be losing access to those targeting options in the coming weeks.

More on the news

  • This policy change will roll out worldwide and, as mentioned above, apply to Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.
  • When a user turns 18, Instagram will inform them about the targeting options that advertisers can now use to reach them and the ads settings at their disposal.
  • Alongside this change, Instagram also announced that all users under 16 (or 18 in certain territories) will have their accounts set to private as a default when they join the platform.
  • The company is also taking precautions to make it more difficult for potentially suspicious accounts to follow minors: “We’ve developed new technology that will allow us to find accounts that have shown potentially suspicious behavior and stop those accounts from interacting with young people’s accounts,” the company said. Accounts owned by minors won’t be shown to adults in the Explore, Reels or “Accounts Suggested For You” sections of the platform.

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