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Meta Inc. changed the rules for its apps on Wednesday so teens can use them safely, the company said in a blog post.
The tech giant has removed the option for advertisers to find out the gender of teens. As of February, this would be true.
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Additionally, the company said that how teens use its family of apps, such as following certain Instagram posts or Facebook pages, won’t have any effect on the types of ads they see.
“We will only use the age and location of teens to decide which ads to show them. Age and location help us continue to make sure that teen ads show them products and services that are available where they live and that are targeted at their age,” the company said on the blog.
Prior to this, in a similar effort to prevent predatory ads from reaching teens, Meta had changed the way advertisers can reach teens. For example, advertisers were no longer able to reach teenagers based on their interests and activities.
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“We are adding more settings and information for teens that will help them understand how ads work and why they see particular ads in our apps,” the company said. These modifications are based on research, direct feedback from parents and child development experts, UN principles on the rights of the child, and global standards.
Ad Topic Controls will give teens more ways to control the types of ads they see on Facebook and Instagram starting in March. This is in addition to what is already available. Teens will be able to change the types of ads they see by going to the settings of both apps and selecting “See less” or “No preferences” under “Ads preferences.”
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These changes are the latest attempt to protect the privacy of younger Meta users after the fact. In 2021, Instagram stopped allowing advertisers to target teens based on their off-Instagram interests or online activities.
Meta was fined about $400 million for these crimes. At the time, the company said it would file an appeal and criticized the Irish regulator for punishing the company for its past actions.
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