Social media company Meta announced changes to how its teen users can interact with advertisements, in an effort to make the platform more age appropriate. This is a step in the right direction for giving users more control over the content they see.
Previously, Meta changed its policies to only allow advertisers to target young people baged on their age, gender and location and not any of their specific interests. This has been updated recently, removing gender as a trait that advertisers can use to target young people.
Another update gives teens the ability to manage the advertising content they see within the Settings menu. Teens already see limited content, but can now choose to see fewer ads about particular genres of TV show, or from specific companies, for example.
Additionally, teens’ interactions on Instagram and Facebook, for example the pages they follow, won’t be used to direct targeted advertising content at them.
Nick Clegg, President, Global Affairs at Meta explained the rationale behind the changes saying “These latest changes, and Meta’s wider work on teen safety and privacy, are informed by child developmental experts, direct feedback from parents, and the UN children’s rights principles”.
Vaishnavi J, Head of Youth Policy at Meta wrote on LinkedIn “This is going to be a continuous process of improvement and I’m grateful to the policy and product teams that have advocated passionately and worked to make these age-appropriate ad updates possible. Great start to the year!”