Meta’s 2021 Updates to Guide Your Advertising Efforts Through 2022

March 2022
Smartphone icons facebook and instagram

Stay up to date with the latest Facebook updates. 

For many of us, if not all of us, 2021 was an eventful year. From events occurring not only in the social media world, but in the real world as well, there were too many changes to even keep up with. To name just one, Facebook has rebranded its corporate name to Meta. As the parent company, Meta now encompasses all the Facebook suite of tools and apps, including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. So, if you have opened Instagram recently and seen “from Meta”, it is nothing but a rebrand of Facebook’s parent company. 

Now that we have covered that, let’s dive into the most important updates to Meta’s Facebook that will directly impact your advertising efforts in 2022. If you haven’t done so already, adopting these new updates will be crucial to your social media marketing strategy moving forward and will change how we all market our brands on social media. As we have all heard before, if you aren’t adapting to new changes you will fall behind. The same applies to social media. With the help of a Pittsburgh advertising agency, you’ll have a better understanding of all of these updates. So, pay attention closely, and let's dive into the 5 updates that will be crucial to your business this year. 

Reels Ads 

Learn What all the buzz is about the highest engaging content format from a Pittsburgh advertising agency

Reach new audiences through IG Reels.Image courtesy of TechCrunch

Since the launch of Instagram Reels in 2020, Instagram has seen the highest growth rate in engagement among any other content format on the platform. Not only are Reels great for engagement but also for discoverability. Beyond Instagram’s Explore page, Reels are the only content format on the platform that allows users to discover others that they aren’t following. As of October 2021, Reels were launched on Facebook where users are able to view the content in their main feed. 

In June 2021, Facebook launched Reel Ads that allowed users to create ads up to 30-seconds in a reel format accompanied with a post description. Users can interact with these ads in the Reels tab, the Explore tab, in Stories, and in their feed. We don’t see this format of content going anywhere, any time soon so now is the perfect time to get to know your audience, what they find engaging, and finally, start creating. 


Let your expertise shine through long-form video

Create captivating IGTV Series for your audience. Image Courtesy of Later

Like Reels, IGTV is another form of video content within Instagram. Unlike Reels, which focus on short-form content, IGTV focuses on longer-form content over 60 seconds. IGTV allows users to create disjointed videos or videos within a series. IGTV series are essentially playlists of videos with similar content. This encourages viewers to keep watching and gives your account more purpose. 

Although this format may not be for everyone, if utilized properly, you can foster lasting relationships with users and show your expertise. Plus, IGTV now acts as a new placement to reach your audience through advertising. 

App Tracking Transparency (ATT) 

Everything you need to know about Apple’s most recent privacy updates

allow option
The latest iOS update privacy changes. Image Courtesy of The Verge

Social media marketing changes can be hard to keep up with. However, keeping up with data privacy—one of the most important updates from 2021 —is essential. The launch of Apple’s iOS 14.5 update on all Apple devices came with an uproar in the tech industry. So, what is the reason for the commotion? Well, the answer to that would be App Tracking Transparency (ATT). With ATT, all apps must use the framework to request the user’s permission to gather their data or to access their device’s personal advertising identifier. Unless the user chooses to opt-in for tracking, their device’s advertising identifier will remain at zero and the app will not be allowed access to the user’s data or behavior. 

Now, you may be thinking this really doesn’t affect you a whole lot, but what you should be thinking about is how this is going to affect your business. With this change, custom audiences have the potential to be widely impacted in both tracking and ad optimization. 

Although this update may sound like the end for Facebook advertising, it doesn’t have to be. This update may be a bump in the road for many marketers but it doesn’t mean that businesses can’t adapt to these updates and prepare for the new age of Facebook Ads

Ad Targeting Updates 

A Run Down on Facebook’s Latest Ad Targeting Updates

New restrictions on Facebook detailed targeting. Image Courtesy of Sprout Social

With the thought of user privacy in mind, Facebook has come to a decision to remove certain ad targeting options and expand their ad controls currently in place. As of January 19, Facebook has removed detailed targeting concerning several sensitive topics including health causes, sexual orientation, religious practices, political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures. Although Meta knows these targeting options do have some benefits, the company felt that overall, these targeting options had a negative impact on users. If you were using these targeting options in your advertising, we know this update can be worrisome. But fear not! There are plenty of other ways to find your target audience. 

  • Engagement Custom Audiences. This audience allows businesses or nonprofits to reach users who have liked their page or watched their videos that may have appeared in their News Feed. 
  • Lookalike Audiences. Businesses, nonprofits, and other groups can use Engagement Custom Audience as a seed to create lookalike audiences to widen their reach to a new audience. 
  • Website Custom Audiences. This audience can reach users that have already engaged with the organization's website or products. 
  • Location Targeting. Reach users within a certain vicinity of your businesses or organizations brick-and-mortar store/within your shipping capabilities. 
  • Custom Audience. Gather your customer’s data from customer lists to create a custom audience. 

AR/VR Ads 

Get additional engagement with the newest way to interact with your customers 

AR is the newest format to sell your products. Image Courtesy of AdWeek

Facebook’s Oculus is still a newer, more niche, platform but is one that’s continuously growing. Facebook is currently testing ad placements within its Oculus VR headsets. After testing, Facebook hopes to expand to more businesses that are interested in advertising on Oculus with the hopes of bringing more people to VR and making progress on their long-term augmented reality initiatives. 

Along with VR ad placements, Facebook has also launched an AR “Try-On” feature with limited partners. This feature allows users to try on lipsticks, jewelry, clothing, etc., and can even show you how decor looks in their home. As the feature grows and more brands are able to use the feature, companies will eventually be able to add the feature into their catalog for users to try. In the near future, this feature will be offered as an ad format as well, which has the potential to revolutionize advertising efforts. 

While we’ve only just covered a few big changes from 2021, there are so many more you may not even know about. For advertisers, these updates will be crucial to know, understand and utilize. Best marketing practices will continue to shift and it is important to know how to adapt to these updates. We know that staying on top of these updates can be difficult and that’s why the team at Responsival is here to help to bring your business to its full potential. Having trouble keeping up with Meta’s advertising updates? As a Pittsburgh advertising agency, we can help. Contact us now to learn more about how we can help you transition into these new updates.

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