Facebook’s Location Tracking Is Changing
Updated: Jun 1
Meta has started notifying users to update their location tracking options. In this newest round of data changes, Meta will no longer offer local-based options such as Nearby Friends, weather alerts, and Location History. They say it’s because the services are rarely used but it could also be related to overseas requests for limiting data collection.
Why this matters
This could impact how we geo-target users based on business radiuses. Facebook’s changes to their data collecting has caused various concerns on the ad side for the past few years, as they limited income targeting and other similar attributes that could be considered discrimination. As a marketer, this means more fancy footwork behind the scenes to make sure we’re reaching our clients’ intended audience.
Does this mean other platforms will follow suit?
Doubtful. If anything, Google is beefing up their location data as they push marketers towards local-based campaigns designed to reach users in close proximity to your storefront. Location data is an important step in ensuring advertisers are serving ads to the right people, and Facebook’s toe-step into removing location history is an interesting announcement, and one they are not broadcasting loudly.
As a user, this is great, right?
Not really. As a user, I know I prefer ads that are tailored to my interests, my needs, and my location. I don’t want to be served ads for a storefront located 100 miles away simply because I visited that store 2 months ago on vacation. Also, the weather alerts could be helpful for users traveling without additional weather apps tracking their movements. Data collection isn’t a bad thing that people like to make it out to be.