Quinn Sheek, DEG’s Director of Demand Generation, contributed to this post.

Facebook assures us that protecting people’s information is the most important thing it does and it has a responsibility to everyone who uses Facebook to make sure their privacy is protected. What happened with Cambridge Analytica was a breach of the trust people place in Facebook to protect their data when they share it. Facebook acknowledges it needs to fix that. As Mark Zuckerberg explained in his post, Facebook is announcing some important changes to take action on potential past abuse and to help prevent future abuse of the platform.

Related Content: Three Easy Steps Toward GDPR Compliance

Facebook launched in 2007 with the vision that more apps should be social. With this in mind, Facebook allowed users to log into apps on the platform and unintentionally share their personal information and the personal information of the people on their friends lists with app developers. Three years ago, even before learning about Kogan’s activities, Facebook made updates to its platform to limit the data people can share about their friends with developers. Additionally, in 2014 Facebook began reviewing apps that requested certain user data before they could launch, and introduced more granular controls for users to decide what information they share with apps.

But even with these guardrails in place, Facebook admits it needs to do more to ensure its users feel safe, protected, and informed. As a result, the platform recently announced it’s making further changes to its product, policies, and processes.

Unless a Business page has an active app within Facebook’s platform, it most likely won’t be directly impacted by the changes Facebook has begun implementing for users with personal accounts. However, there are some additional changes and looming deadlines that Business Managers and brands need to be aware of.

Pausing New Launches for Apps and Experiences

Facebook is pausing all app review on the Facebook and Messenger Platforms. This means there will be no new apps, bots, or experiences added while Facebook reviews its policies and make necessary adjustments. Facebook says it is doing its best to minimize this window. You can learn more on the Developer or Messenger blogs.

Page managers who don’t verify their domains by May 8 will no longer be able to edit the appearance of their links on Facebook.

Requiring Domain Verification for Page Post-Link Editing

In November 2017, Facebook introduced domain verification in Business Manager, allowing Business accounts to easily claim ownership of their domain(s) and share these domains with trusted partners. This domain ownership functionality is designed to provide Page managers control and flexibility over their content, help them manage existing workflows more efficiently, and prevent the spread of misinformation through falsely modified link previews.

Page managers who don’t verify their domains by May 8 will no longer be able to edit the appearance of their links on Facebook.

How to Verify Your Domain

Within the Business Manager settings, accessible by any admin of the Business Manager, you will see an option to claim your domain as an asset and connect it to a Page. Specifically, you can now work with your team to claim your domain through two methods: (1) HTML file upload or (2) DNS TXT record editing. Once claimed, you also have the ability to share these domains with your trusted partners through their Business Managers. You can learn more about domain verification on Facebook’s Help Center.

Testing a New Comments Section on Pages

facebook data privacy settings business pages


Facebook is testing a new experience designed to make it easier for people to have great conversations around public content. With this test, Facebook is introducing a comments section on Page posts that is only visible to friends. Instead of adding a comment publicly, people will have the option to discuss just with their friends. People can still choose to comment in the public section by switching their comment privacy setting to public.

This test will only be seen by a small percentage of people globally over the next week. This is still early stages. Facebook will be collecting and analyzing feedback to understand how people interact with this new feature before rolling out this test more broadly.

With this initial test, comments between friends will not be visible to Page admins and will not factor into Page post engagement metrics. However, Facebook is working on ways to provide Pages visibility into these friends-only comments for moderation and insights in the near future.

This update is one of the most direct impacts on Pages, as the private engagements are not factored into page post engagement metrics.

Mozilla’s released a Facebook Container extension which allows users to isolate their web activity from Facebook.

Facebook Container Extension

On March 27, Mozilla debuted a Facebook Container extensions for its Firefox web browser saying, “This extension helps you control more of your web activity from Facebook by isolating your identity into a separate container. This makes it harder for Facebook to track your activity on other websites via third-party cookies….[and] prevents Facebook from associating information about your activity on websites outside of Facebook to your Facebook identity.” Based on this information, if users were to implement the Firefox Container (or any other ad blocker with similar capabilities) it would affect remarketing to website visitors on Facebook.

Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR, which applies starting May 25, 2018, creates consistent data protection rules across Europe. These rules apply to both EU-based companies and global companies who have customers in the EU. While many of the principles build on current EU data protection rules, the GDPR has a wider scope, more prescriptive standards, and substantial fines.

In preparation for GDPR, Facebook is expanding its existing tools to help people better manage their privacy and understand their choices with respect to personal data. Facebook has launched a microsite to provide you with information about the GDPR, Facebook’s preparation, and implications for your business.

Update to Third-Party Targeting on Facebook

Facebook will remove the ability to use Partner Categories over the next six months. This may impact advertising efforts on the platform. In light of the GDPR looming deadline, Facebook has created a timeline to comply with the regulation:

  • May 10: After this date, you will no longer be able to create or edit a campaign using Partner Categories built on audiences from the UK, Germany, and France; however, they will be allowed to continue running until May 24.
  • May 25: Facebook will no longer deliver to Partner Categories built on audiences from the UK, Germany, and France, and these targeting options will no longer be available for use on our platform. You will be notified to update any targeting containing impacted Partner Categories before this date.
  • June 30: Last day for creating new or editing existing campaigns using non-EU Partner Categories; they will be allowed to run until September 30.
  • October 1: All other Partner Categories will no longer be available as targeting options on the platform and Facebook will stop delivering against these audiences. You will be notified to update your targeting by this date.

Advertisers can continue to create Custom Audiences in accordance with the Custom Audiences terms of service, which specify that they can only create audiences from data that they have the rights, permissions, and lawful basis to use.

In preparation for GDPR, Facebook is expanding its existing tools to help people better manage their privacy and understand their choices with respect to personal data.

An important distinction is the use of managed Custom Audiences, which are uploaded by a data provider and shared to the advertiser. Moving forward, Facebook will require those uploading managed Custom Audiences—or using them to confirm that the data in the audience comes from first-party advertiser data only and is not enriched by additional information from the data provider—in order to continue use of managed Custom Audiences. For example, a data provider that is managing the customer loyalty program data for a grocery store chain would be allowed to use this for a managed Custom Audience, as long as the data provider is only using the advertiser’s own data and is not adding any additional data (even if only to improve matching).

Facebook has seven data partners around the world, some offering third-party targeting to more than one country: Acxiom, Acxiom Japan, CCC Marketing, Epsilon, Experian, Oracle Data Cloud (formerly Datalogix), and Quantium. Facebook still uses these companies to help with ad measurement, though a source says that the company is reevaluating that practice, too. Learn more on Facebook’s Help Center.

While there were safeguards in place previously, in light of the Cambridge Analytica breach this step is more focused on decreasing the risk of using third-party data. This decision by Facebook would not have impacted the Cambridge Analytica breach had it been made sooner, but rather is indicative of the efforts and changes the platform is making to ensure its users’ privacy.

Should You #DeleteFacebook?

Since its launch, Facebook has maintained the largest and most active user base—68 percent of the adult population are considered active Facebook users.

You may have seen the near 400,000 of tweets with #deletefacebook, including support from the likes of Elon Musk. However, are users really leaving the platform?

facebook data privacy changes business pages


While Facebook is hardly the only social platform, it has maintained the largest and most active user base since its launch—currently, 68% of the adult population is considered as active users. What’s unique about new social platforms that manage to gain traction and stick around (e.g. Instagram, Pinterest) is that they offer a different user experience than you get on Facebook. As it currently stands, there isn’t a viable alternative for those who want to maintain various capability benefits Facebook offers that others don’t.

According to data compiled by strategic marketing consultancy firm Kepios, Facebook’s monthly active users (MAU) data for March 2018 indicates that very few people, if at all, have actually deleted Facebook. This could, however, account for those who temporarily deleted Facebook only return a few days or a week later.

We’ll be sharing more information in the coming weeks as our Facebook rep updates us on the additional steps they’re taking to put people in control of their Facebook data privacy. In the meantime, check out our Ultimate Guide to Shopping and Selling on Instagram.

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