How To Adapt To Facebook Audience Targeting Changes In 2022

Published: 16 August 2022

Updated: 27 September 2022

Author Image
Darya is a digital marketing specialist @Viden, driving performance and delivering results for brands across paid channels through leading optimization and management strategies.
How To Adapt To Facebook Audience Targeting Changes In 2022

What Changes Has Meta Made To Detailed Targeting Options?

Ever since Jan 19, 2022, Meta has been removing a wide number of Detailed Targeting options from Facebook Ads, stating that they’re either not widely used, too similar to other options, too granular, or because they relate to sensitive topics, such as health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation. The platform aims to reduce the potential for abuse and prevent advertisers from taking advantage of highly personal interests and creating negative experiences for users.
Thousands of impacted targeting options were automatically fully removed as both inclusion and exclusion audiences on Mar 17, 2022. All the campaigns, where the targeting options were affected, that hadn’t been updated before then, went inactive with no possibility to make edits at the campaign, ad set or ad level.
Certainly, it caused a significant impact on the strategy, cutting down on the high-quality traffic, generated by the affected campaigns, which stirred advertisers to look for alternative targeting options that might be used to reach those audiences that can’t be captured given the changes.

Alternative Targeting Options To Reach Your Audiences

It’s important to remember that the people you want to target and, perhaps, used to target with the removed detailed targeting options are still there. It’s not like those people are gone. It’s just a case of being able to reach them.

Here’s how you can capture your audiences with alternative Facebook Ads Targeting Options:

1. Discover Other Interests

The easiest solution is to look for other interests that are relevant to your business. You can do that by going to the ad set level settings and typing in an interest or topic that relates to your core audience in the detailed targeting text box. Then click the “Suggestions”.

Facebook will provide you with a variety of targeting options you may have not considered before. After adding a suggested option, Facebook will reconsider suggestions according to your choice.
Also, you may think outside the box to come up with fresh new ideas for Detailed Targeting options that may fit your target audience.

2. Broad Targeting

Another potential solution is to use broad targeting. By not adding any detailed targeting options, you give Facebook a much wider audience to deliver your ads to, which can work incredibly well in some cases. It can be successful for products or services that have mass appeal – something that almost everyone or a huge percentage of people may be interested in (e.g. home goods, food delivery, car rentals, etc.).
Also, when it comes to broad targeting, it’s crucial to take into account the maturity of your Facebook Ads account. To successfully and efficiently optimize the performance of your campaigns with a multi-million user audience, Facebook needs a lot of historical data to be able to work out which users are most likely to convert and which are best to target. A new account is unlikely to see great results from this strategy.

3. Engagement Custom Audiences

With Engagement Custom Audiences, you can reach people who’ve already interacted with your business:

  • people who watched your videos in the news feed. You can also choose to target users who’ve watched a certain number of seconds (starting at 3) or a certain percentage (starting at 25%) from your videos;
  • users who engaged with your Facebook page, Instagram account (if your page has a linked Instagram account);
  • people who engaged with any of your events;
  • people who engaged with your Instant Experience;
  • users who interacted with your products or bought them from your Facebook shop;
  • users who interacted with items from your catalog;
  • people who open or completed a form in one of your lead generation ads on Facebook or Instagram;
  • people who interacted with on-Facebook listings from your catalog.

These people have already shown a direct interest in your brand and may convert into paying customers if an advertiser reaches back out.

4. Customer Lists

Businesses and groups who have permission from their customers to use their data for targeting can re-engage past customers and website visitors, or find audiences similar to them, with the help of customer lists. If you have a list of customers, you can easily upload it to the platform and use it to build a new highly relevant Facebook Ads audience.

5. Retargeting Audiences

If you’ve installed a Facebook pixel on your website, you can also create a custom audience based on your website data. For a wide reach, you can target all website visitors for a selected time period. Or, if you want to target a more specific audience, you can choose people who visited only select pages on your website.

6. Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are one of the best features you can use to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business as they share similar characteristics to your existing customers. Lookalike audiences may be a good option for clients who have used detailed targeting options for years that now disappeared.
We would recommend creating lookalike audiences using your pixel as a data source. Using historical data, the Facebook algorithm can help you find the optimal audience for your ads while maximizing your results. You can also use customer lists, website and engagement custom audiences as a seed audience.
And if you want to reach an even bigger audience, you can use lookalike expansion to show your ads to people outside your defined lookalike audience.


With ongoing updates to privacy across digital, third-party data becomes unreliable. Meta’s removal of Detailed Targeting Options is just another reminder to start building up your own first-party data to stay protected, even as the world goes through endless phases of change. Moreover, based on your own first-party data you can create look-alike audiences to reach potential customers.

Depending on what’s appropriate for your business, we suggest trying these potential solutions. Experiment with ways to reach your target audience and you more likely will find features that will work well for your business and help you smash through your marketing goals.

Get in touch

Got a question? We'd love to hear from you. Send us a message and we'll respond as soon as possible.

    By clicking submit, you agree to our Privacy Policy

    Latest Insights

    Get the tips from our experts to optimize and scale your campaigns

    14 September 2023

    How Much Do Google Ads Cost in 2023?

    In 2023, Google Ads costs are expected to rise by 20%-30%, up from a 5%-19% increase in 2022. This article breaks down Google Ads pricing, helping you budget effectively and understand key cost factors.

    Learn more

    7 September 2023

    7 Microsoft Advertising Tips to Boost Your Results

    Want to maximize your Microsoft Advertising results? Here are 7 essential tips to help you improve your ROI, increase your reach, and get more out of your advertising budget.

    Learn more

    6 September 2023

    Demand Gen Campaigns: What’s New and How to Use Them?

    Learn about the new Demand Gen campaigns from Google Ads and how you can use them to generate more leads and sales.

    Learn more

    1 September 2023

    How Marketing Teams Can Take Advantage of Generative AI

    Generative AI is a game-changer for marketing. Discover how you can use this technology to create more personalized customer experiences and drive more conversions.

    Learn more

    31 July 2023

    10 Tips for Marketing Male Supplements with Social Media

    Discover the best way to promote your male supplement company with our comprehensive guide. Learn how to use social media to promote your products and generate leads.

    Learn more

    25 July 2023

    10 Effective Ways to Use Social Media for eCommerce

    Social media is a powerful tool for eCommerce businesses. Learn 10 effective ways to use social media to grow your brand.

    Learn more

    12 July 2023

    5 Must-Have Skills Every Digital Marketing Manager Should Have

    Want to be a top-tier digital marketing manager? Then you need to master these 5 skills.

    Learn more

    10 July 2023

    How Google AI Can Supercharge Your Business Results

    Learn how Google AI can help you improve your business results, from increased sales to better customer service.

    Learn more