The Clear History feature on Facebook is looming, and it leaves marketers and their clients wondering what that means for Facebook Advertising. First let’s talk a little about what this “Clear History” feature is.
Zuckerberg explained it this way in a post last year in a post after Facebook’s F8 Conference: “In your web browser, you have a simple way to clear your cookies and history. The idea is a lot of sites need cookies to work, but you should still be able to flush your history whenever you want. We’re building a version of this for Facebook too. It will be a simple control to clear your browsing history on Facebook — what you’ve clicked on, websites you’ve visited, and so on.” Zuckerberg also noted that if users clear their history, “Your Facebook won’t be as good while it relearns your preferences.”
Both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan have stated that this feature will enable users to:
- See which websites and apps collect and send user data when used
- Remove all information associated with their browsing and app history on Facebook
- Disable data collection and history from their account altogether
In essence, it’s like “clearing the cookies” from your web browser.
What’s Next for Facebook Advertising?
As Facebook advertisers know, one of the best ways to target and retarget users is through the Pixel. Users who delete their history will be removed from Pixel retargeting lists. While this change may make users more difficult to target, our social media specialists do see advantages to the feature.
Users who “reset” their history will begin accumulating totally new data on their habits, preferences, etc. For example: Facebook ad campaigns can target users who have visited your practice page in the last 90 days. During those three months, some of those users may have gone to another practice for a procedure or legal advice, and they are no longer interested in your services.
However, users who clear their history and then return to your Facebook page demonstrate that they are likely interested in your practice and shopping around for the type of services you provide. Even though Clear History eliminates the data from the past, these users’ present-tense actions make targeted Facebook ads still a viable campaign option.
Furthermore, users may not take advantage of Clear History because it will log them out of every app associated with their Facebook login. “Clear History” will also randomize the ads users without a history will see on Facebook. Many users tend to prefer a more personalized experience, so this is another key reason why Clear History isn’t for everybody.
Leverage Facebook's Popularity
Despite the bad press about data breaches and transparency in 2018, with over 2 billion users worldwide, Facebook continues to grow and be the leader in social media. According to Hootsuite, “An average Facebook user clicks on 8 ads per month. This number goes up to 10 for women and drops to seven for men.”
Though marketers may need to adjust tactics in order to engage and convert Facebook users into leads for their clients, statistics show that Facebook advertising will continue to be an integral part of any marketing strategy.
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