Meta Rolls Out New Advertising Limits for Teens

Beginning February 20, 2023, Meta is changing how advertisers can target people under the age of 18 globally (and under 20 in Thailand and under 21 in Indonesia). 

Specifically, Meta, inclusive of Facebook and Instagram, will remove the following options to target teen users (ages 13-17):

  • Gender targeting
  • Zip code targeting

This also includes locations smaller than cities, and DMA targeting. 

In essence, advertising to target this age group will be limited to age and geo. Country, city, and state will be the only geo options available. Meta’s new advertising guidelines are part of a continued effort to protect the privacy and safety concerns of teens across these platforms. 

For active campaigns using these targeting options, Meta’s Business Help Center states ad sets must be updated on or before April 7, 2023, to either prevent the campaigns from being paused, or from the targeting to automatically be adjusted to ‘adults only’. 

This has not been the first time Meta has removed teen targeting options. More than a year ago in August 2021, updates were made to withdraw targeting ads to teens by:

  • Detailed targeting (such as interests, behaviors, demographics)
  • CRM
  • Offline activity
  • Language targeting
  • Lookalike audiences and more.

According to eMarketer, Facebook has achieved user penetration of 82% for people between the ages of 25 – 34 years old, over 78% for users are 35 – 44 years of age, over 71% for those  45 – 54 years,  59% among 55 – 64 year olds, and 43% for 65 years of age and above. People in the 13 – 17 year old ‘teen’ category captured the lowest user penetration of all age groups at only 30%.

Where are teens spending their time? YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat. eMarketer also reports 88% of Gen Z uses YouTube, 68% use TikTok, and Snapchat follows closely behind at 67%. According to PEW Research, an August 2022 study on Teens, Social Media and Technology, illustrated how sticky these platforms can be.  The majority of teens (58%) visit TikTok daily, with half (51%) visiting Snapchat each day. TikTok and Snapchat were shown to have larger shares of teenage users regularly logging into these platforms. In comparison to 2014-2015, teen Snapchat usage has increased by 44%, whereas Facebook teen users decreased by a staggering 54%. 

If you’d like to learn more about these changes, or how teens are spending their time online, reach out to the experts at Brkthru. We want you to be up to date on all the latest and upcoming platform changes –– we know business moves fast but we move faster.