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Facebook, Instagram limit advertisers’ access to teens 

by Leila Salaverria

TEENAGERS will be getting more protection from advertisers on Facebook and Instagram.

In the coming months, using these social media apps is expected to be a safer and more age-appropriate experience for the young users because of new rules and restrictions that parent company Meta will introduce. 

In February, advertisers will no longer be able to target teenagers based on their gender, Meta announced.

Advertisers will only be able to know the age and location of teenagers on these applications, it said.

“Age and location will be the only information about a teen that we’ll use to show them ads. Age and location help us continue to ensure teens see ads that are meant for their age and products and services available where they live,” it said.

No stalking  

It also said teenagers’ Facebook and Instagram engagements, like following certain Instagram accounts and Facebook pages, won’t affect the types of ads they see.

These rules are meant to keep the apps age-appropriate, it said. 

Why teens need protection

It noted that teens’ decision making skills are not yet as finely honed as those of adults.

“We recognize that teens aren’t necessarily as equipped as adults to make decisions about how their online data is used for advertising, particularly when it comes to showing them products available to purchase. For that reason, we’re further restricting the options advertisers have to reach teens, as well as the information we use to show ads to teens,” it said. 

More control 

Starting in March, Meta will also allow teenagers to manage the types of ads they see on Facebook and Instagram. 

It will launch Ad Topic Controls to provide the more option to control what they see. 

Teens will be able to click on Ad Preferences and choose either “See Less” or “No Preference.”

Meta noted that it already blocks ads about restricted topics such as alcohol, financial services, and weight loss products and services from being shown to users under 18 years old. 

But there are still ads that teens may not want to pop up on their screens, it said. 

“For example, if a teen wants to see fewer ads about a genre of TV show or an upcoming sports season, they should be able to tell us that,” it said. 

It also said teens can continue to hide any or all ads from a specific advertisers.

Moreover, teens won’t be allowed to choose content that may not be age appropriate, as the default setting for restricted topics is “See Less.”



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