Facebook Rolling Out ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ Feature

August 30, 2019

“Off-Facebook Activity” is officially rolling out. 

There has been intense pressure on Facebook to make changes in the way their apps and services work, to give people more transparency and control over their data. This is also consistent with expectations around regulations like GDPR and upcoming laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), to show how transparency expectations for businesses are evolving.

Facebook has now started rolling out a tool that lets people see and clear their ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ throughout South Korea, Ireland and Spain. This feature will firstly let people view a summary of their ‘Off-Facebook Activity’, sent to Facebook via the Facebook pixel & SDK. And secondly, clear their ‘Off-Facebook Activity’. If they clear their ‘Off-Facebook Activity’, Facebook will disconnect that information from their account. People can also choose to turn off Facebook’s ability to connect this information with their account in the future. This tool is available to all users across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Facebook Audience Network.

We understand an ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ notification will be displayed to every user logging into a Facebook property after this feature is released. Whilst it’s not a compulsory opt-in, it’s likely that there will be significant adoption of ‘Off-Facebook Activity’.

Facebook believes that offering people greater transparency and control will have a positive long-term effect on businesses using Facebook. This is following the trend we’re seeing of users having greater curated and relevant experiences with their online communities, as opposed to social network broadcast.

We’re expecting the main impact of people exercising their right to clear their ‘Off-Facebook Activity’, is there will be less scaled audiences for data-driven targeting. Predominantly, this will likely affect brand awareness campaigns with reach and frequency objectives. Equally, performance marketing will have to work harder to a reduced audience base. However, ForwardPMX has over 95% adoption of the Facebook Pixel, which ensures all our Facebook property advertising uses data signals delivering relevant and contextual messages to brand’s target audiences.

Whilst not yet confirmed by Facebook, this introduction could impact independent attribution measurement vendors like Visual IQ, who are reliant on shared data. Their model may even become nonviable if there is not enough robust data. This will mean advertisers will become more reliant on Facebook’s own measurement tools, including attribution.

Over the coming months we will share our learnings from the test markets to ensure we maintain a competitive edge for our clients.

At ForwardPMX, we have been working with Facebook to ensure all our clients are 100% compliant with Facebook’s advertising principles, with the release of ‘Off-Facebook Activity’. We have an over 90% compliant completion rate across our clients, and we are following up on the few remaining clients with actions required.

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