Facebook limits advertiser targeting to youth

The safety measures also come as the social network adds three major publishers to its news innovation test.

Facebook made two announcements this week that help make its platforms safer, more private, and venues that promote trusted Canadian journalism.

On the ad front, advertisers will now only be able to target ads to people in Canada under the age of 18 (older in certain countries with different local regulations) based on age, gender, and location. Previously available targeting options, such as those based on interests or activity on other apps and websites, will no longer be available to advertisers.

The company says that, while it has always aimed to give users control over these kinds of things in its ad settings, it has heard from advocates that young people may not always be equipped to make these decisions. Facebook has also released a number of other youth-targeted safety features on Instagram, including making profiles of people under 16 private by default.

These changes will apply to Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. Once young people turn 18, they’ll be notified that advertisers can now reach them and about the tools available to them to control their ad experience.

The second announcement from Facebook this week revealed that The Globe and Mail, local news publisher Black Press Media and Glacier Media have joined the 14 other Canadian publishers participating in the Facebook Journalism Project’s News Innovation Test.

The test entails Facebook paying participating publishers for linking to additional news stories not already posted on Facebook as a way to enhance the experience for platform users looking for trusted Canadian news about important topics.

Publishers participating in the test also include BlogTO, Canada’s National Observer, The Coast, La coopĂ©rative nationale de l’information indĂ©pendente, Daily Hive, Le Devoir, Discourse Media, FP Newspapers, Narcity, The Narwhal, SaltWire Network, The Sprawl, The Tyee and Village Media.