In a move to clean up its act, Facebook is cutting third-party data providers out of ad targeting by shutting down its Partner Categories. Experian and Acxiom are among the numerous third-party data providers that Facebook will lock out of its ad targeting extension, the company announced today.
"We want to let advertisers know that we will be shutting down Partner Categories," the statement says. "This product enables third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook. While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook."
Facebook's existing datasets include those provided by a user's activities and profiles and those provided by advertisers and agencies, including customer email addresses ported for custom audience targeting. These sources of data allowed advertisers and agencies to use Facebook for campaign targeting, while companies such as Experian and Acxiom supplemented those existing datasets for ad targeting, such as transactions occurring outside the platform.
At this point in time, it is unclear how Facebook's decision impacts pixel-based retargeting.