Facebook Ads to Offer Targeting Based on Search Queries

Facebook’s main earner pretty much since the inception of the social media platform has been advertising, and the company has created a lot of options for marketers to try and narrow down the people that they are going to be targeting through their advertisements. The fact of the matter is that the more options Facebook gives in terms of its targeting, the more likely it will be that a marketing agency or something in that vein would be willing to give Facebook a shot in terms of paying them for ad space on the platform.

A lot of the targeting options that Facebook has offered have been criticized because of the fact that they have led to a number of people manipulating them in order to avoid selling to ethnic minorities as well as other groups that have faced some level of discrimination or disenfranchisement at some point in the past.

Facebook has made changes to its targeting options that would prevent such specifications from being set but since advertising is its main earner the social media platform does need to provide advertisers with a few more options in terms of getting things done from the point of view of marketing agencies that Facebook is working with.


A new targeting option, as spotted by Susan Wenograd, has now been seen and has been talked about quite a bit on Twitter, and this targeting option basically allows you to narrow down your target audience based on their search history on Facebook. For example, if you are trying to market a product that is meant for cleaning purposes, you could target people that have made searches regarding cleaning in the past and this would lead to you being able to market to them and potentially gain a sale out of all of this.

Some users would be concerned that Facebook is storing and selling their search history, but for the most part your Facebook search history is benign so this is actually a pretty decent way for Facebook to try and give advertisers more options to target a specific demographic without creating conditions that could potentially lead to unfair exclusion of certain groups based on their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or a wide variety of other factors that have led to discrimination at some point in the past.

Read next: Increased Privacy Will Bring Down Revenue Says Facebook, Analysts Disagree

Featured photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

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