December 4, 2020

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Instagram Adds New Option Which Enables Users to Opt-Out of Third-Party Data Usage for Ad Targeting

2 min read

Instagram has added a new setting which will enable users to choose whether they can be targeted with more personalized ads in the app via the usage of supplementary data sourced from third-party platforms and providers.

Instagram data permissions

As you can see here, the new “Data From Partners” settings will enable users to opt-out of the use of partner-sourced data to target them with more personalized ads. Facebook added similar for all users earlier this year with the broader launch of its ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ tools.

As explained in the description, Instagram, as with Facebook more broadly, uses data insights from other apps and websites in order to better personalize each users’ ad experience. Facebook tracks these additional data points via the use of Facebook’s SDK and other tools, which then feed back information on users’ off-platform actions.

Such insights are likely to become increasingly valuable in future – as Instagram shifts further into eCommerce, the capacity to use off-platform browsing and transaction data will become a key way to maximize retargeting, and generate more direct sales through the app.

You can imagine that this will also see a lot more businesses signing up for advanced customer tracking, which, in turn, will see more people raising questions about how they’re being targeting via their off-platform activity. Which is why Facebook’s looking to get ahead of the curve, and offer new ways for users to opt-out of such tracking and usage, if users get creeped out by in-app ad targeting.

In order to ensure all users are aware of the setting, Instagram will soon send out an in-app notification, calling on people to review their ad settings.​ If the user has connected their Facebook account, the new setting will also respect the choices noted via their Facebook Ad Preferences.

As noted, given the anticipated rise of eCommerce via Instagram, this makes a lot of sense, and by getting in now, Instagram may also reduce the amount of users who’ll actually switch this setting off, enabling them to provide enhanced ad retargeting options for more businesses. 

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