Earlier this year, Facebook announced changes to “all ads that offer housing, employment and credit opportunities” in order to help protect people on Facebook from unlawful discrimination. These ads are now called the Special Ad Category. Information is still coming out about the changes, but don’t worry – we’ll break it down for you:

What you need to know:

Age, gender and ZIP code targeting have been removed for all housing-related ads. Most demographics, behaviors and interests have also been removed from targeting – behaviors such as moving or buying a home are no longer available. “Saved Audience” has also been removed, so any audience you could previously access easily will not be available for housing.

What you need to do:

If you’re using Social Ad Engine, OJO, Homespotter or another service to run your ads, then audience targeting will be changed for you – you don’t need to do anything.

If you are creating and running your own ads through Facebook’s Ad Manager, then you will need to:

  • Make sure to select Special Ad Category > Housing when you create ads for listings or housing or Facebook may shut them off.
  • Instead of ZIP codes, you can target city plus 15 mile or more radius.
  • Under Detailed Targeting, choose interests such as: real estate, house hunting, starter home, house hunting, first-time buyer, condominium, single-family detached home, etc.
  • Saved Audiences are no longer available. But if you have a list of your customers, you can use it to create a Special Ad Audience. This is similar to Lookalike Audiences. You’ll need to select the source (either your page or a custom audience), select the audience location and audience size. To learn more, click here.

 There is more information about the Special Ad Category available here.