Meta ads will no longer target teens based on gender

The parent company of Facebook and Instagram earlier removed the option for advertisers to target teens based on their interests and activities.

Starting February, teenagers will only receive ads based on their age and location, Meta has said.

“Age and location help us continue to ensure teens see ads that are meant for their age and products and services available where they live,” the company said in a blog post.

Removing gender as a targeting option follows earlier changes in how advertisers can reach underage audiences, including removing the ability to target teens based on their interests and activities.

Meta also said that previous engagements across its social media apps, such as posts and likes on Instagram and Facebook, would not inform what ads teenagers see.

The company said that teenagers would also have “teen-specific” controls and resources available to them, including the option to flag the types of ads they would rather not see and learn more about how advertising on Meta apps works, the company said.

“We recognize that teens aren’t necessarily as equipped as adults to make decisions about how their online data is used for advertising, particularly when it comes to showing them products available to purchase,” Meta said.

The company has faced years of criticism for not doing enough to protect teenage users of its social media apps.

Earlier, Meta also announced it was introducing a new system to reduce algorithmic bias in the delivery of housing ads. It said it would later expand the technology to cover employment and credit ads.

The system was developed as part of Meta’s settlement agreement with the Department of Justice, which said the company’s ad delivery was “discriminatory” and violated the Fair Housing Act.

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