Meta updates advertisement system to keep apps age-appropriate for students
Meta, the company that owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, among other products and services, recently made changes to their ad experiences in order to keep their apps age-appropriate for their younger users. In addition to the current advertising standards, such as the restriction of prohibited topics to users under 18 years old, Meta is adding new policies for advertisers that change the way they can reach students.
Among these updates, students will be given more ways to manage Facebook and Instagram ads and have access to a new privacy page that provides information and resources about their privacy across apps. Let’s dive into what these updates mean for students.
What can students and adults expect?
Meta’s current advertisement policies cover a wide range of protection for students, with even more changes coming to the apps they own in the next few months. Right now, Meta prohibits ads about certain restricted topics, such as alcohol and weight loss, to be shown to users under 18. Advertisers also can’t target teens based on their interests and activities, meaning that students’ activities on other apps and websites are no longer available to advertisers.
The current policies allow advertisers to target ads to people under 18 based on their age, gender, and location. However, in February, gender will be removed as an option for advertisers to reach teens. Meta believes age and location provide enough information for ensuring that teens see ads that are meant for their age, as well as products and services that are available where they live.
Meta is also releasing new options for students to be able to control the ads they see in its apps. In March, students will be able to go to their ad preferences within their settings and choose ‘See Less’ or ‘No Preference’ to control the types of ads they see. This will enable students to be able to opt out of certain ad categories, giving them more control over their social media experience. In addition to this new feature, Meta has added a new privacy page with information for students about the tools and privacy settings they can use across Instagram and Facebook. The main goal of Meta’s new additions and restrictions is to keep students safe while they are using their technologies and apps.
Quick Glance: Updates by Month
- February: Gender will be removed as an option for advertiserts to reach teens
- March: Student will be able to go to their ad preferences within settings and choose ‘See Less’ or ‘No Preference’ to control the types of ads they see.
With approximately 62% of teenagers using Instagram and 32% using Facebook, there is no doubt that students love Meta-owned social media platforms. Since so many students frequently use these apps, it is important for them to be aware of how the apps use their personal data and information and to have a say in the ads they are shown.
Meta’s transparency on privacy and ad policies is a step in the right direction for protecting student data, but not all platforms are as forward with how they use personal data. In our #WinAtSocial Grade 8 Protect Your Privacy Like You’re Famous Lesson, Examining How Free Apps and Websites Use Our Personal Data, we help students understand how companies use their data and how to update their privacy settings for apps and devices. If you are not a partner, contact us to learn how you can run this #WinAtSocial Lesson with your students. You can also help your students protect their privacy by encouraging them to always be mindful of what they share on social media.
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The Social Institute (TSI) is the leader in understanding student experiences and creator of #WinAtSocial, a gamified, online learning platform that equips students, educators, and families to navigate social experiences — online and offline — in healthy ways. Our unique, student-respected approach incorporates topics like social media, technology use, and current events that have a significant impact on student well-being. Lessons teach life skills for the modern day to inspire high-character decisions that support the health, happiness, and future success of students, while capturing data that provides insights to school leaders to inform school policy and communications, and enable high-impact teaching and a healthy learning environment. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities.