Over the years, Facebook has been working on algorithm changes that make a user’s experience on the platform more contextual in nature. From new ad formats aimed at complementing rather than detracting their experience online, the social platform has been going the extra mile to change what digital advertising looks like today to make it in the favour of the users.

One of the recent updates being, giving users control over ad preferences and combat ad blocking with contextual marketing.

Facebook Ad Preferences 1

In simpler words, users can now choose what they want to see and what they’d rather avoid in the future. They can choose to ‘stop seeing ads from businesses or organizations’ who are targeting them on the platform. The feature rollout came with another announcement that ad-blocking softwares would no longer work when accessing social networks via the desktop.

Why has Facebook introduced these changes?

Internet users are not just using the services for entertainment purposes. They are now using for informative pieces that will help them make informative decisions on purchases and engagement with brands.

This shift of content to the internet has improved the online experience of users. But advertising is the one industry that has still been living in 2006.

There are still times when a user comes across advertisements that are simply ‘bad’. They slow load times of websites, promote non-contextual content and overall, waste the time of an internet user. This behaviour of the advertising industry, gave rise to the usage of ad blockers.

growth of ad blockers


Ad blockers give internet users the ability to shut down these random ads from running on web pages they are accessing – be it via the desktop or mobile. The rise in usage of ad blockers has seemingly increased over time. Here’s taking a look at why people block ads:

why people block ads


While the software improves a user’s experience, they are hampering the way businesses acquire customers and generate their revenue online.

How does Facebook’s change impact marketing?

The current change lets the users ‘choose’ what they would like to see from businesses. Basically, if you don’t want to see ads about a specific interest or a certain type, you can prevent them from showing up on your feed altogether.

Facebook Ad Preferences 2

If you get the drift, here’s what is changing about marketing – everything.

Here’s what the advertisers will need to keep in mind while strategizing and creating their ads now:

1. High on context

Facebook introduced ad preferences to address the reasons why people are increasingly using ad blocking softwares. The primary reason being that the ads were annoying and non-contextual in nature.

This only goes to say that advertisers will now need to understand their target audience better, segment them based on their pain points and create value propositions that are ‘specific’ to them. Advertisements that add value to users are the ones that will continue to not get blocked out on ad preferences.

2. High on personalization

Personalization is one of the most effective marketing tactics of today. The hyper informed generation of today doesn’t like to be targeted with sales pitches, they’d rather have businesses ‘speaking to them’.

Advertisers need to now focus on personalizing their approach of reaching out to their target audience. Apart from being contextual with their messages, they need to use a human approach that makes the users feel they’re being spoken to and that they matter.

3. High on timeliness

Apart from context and personalization, businesses will need to take into account ‘when’ they are reaching out to the different segments of their target audience. In simpler words, timing of the advertisements are going to play an important role in making ad preferences work in your favour.

Marketers and advertisers will need to work with their sales teams to understand the sales cycle as well as the customer journey. This will help them create timely campaigns that suit users at the different stages of the cycle.

Also, using social listening tools and machine learning, businesses will need to keep a tab on what’s trending in their target audience’s circles. The data will help them create high converting campaigns on a timely basis.

4. High on quality

Continuing on our points above, businesses will now need to focus on the quality of advertisements they are running. Right from the ad formats they choose, the graphics or media they make use of, the message and other aspects that define the quality of the advertisement.

The higher the quality, combined with the above stated elements, the more likely is your target audience to choose to continue seeing your ads.

Also read: 5 creative uses of Canvas Ads that your business must try

5. High on testing and analytics

Considering the increasing demands of the target market and how consumers want to be addressed, marketers will need to go high on testing and analytics.

Advertisers will need to create different variations of ads to address different segments on their target audience over a defined period of time, monitor their performance closely and optimize them for better conversions based on engagement, and other user metrics.

This is where smart categorisation and analytics tools like Adalyz come in. Adalyz helps you group together different variations of the same ad in smart folders and monitor their results closely. Marketers can then use the data to understand which advertisements are performing well, and which need further optimization to perform better with ad preferences.

Over to you

With ad preferences coming in, marketers will now need to start creating advertising campaigns that address their target market on a one-to-one basis, more than broadcasting.

This in turn, will improve the user experience in the digital world. But do you think this will change the marketing tactics for the better? Or will it become more challenging for marketers to create the ‘context’ their audience is looking for?