On Tuesday, Facebook released an announcement that let advertisers know that its coming “Clear History” tool may impact ad targeting, but won’t affect any measurement or analytics tools. The Clear History tool is a feature that allows users to disconnect their off-Facebook activity from their profile.
“It’s important to understand that advertising and protecting people’s information are not at odds,” writes Facebook on its Business blog post, “We can do both.”
The Clear History tool was first announced during last year’s F8 Conference when Mark Zuckerberg said his team was working on a tool that would let users clear their browsing history on the platform and see all the apps they had interacted with.
It was clarified by the company that the feature won’t actually delete the browsing activity or off-line actions of users, but makes the data anonymous:
“If you clear your history or use the new setting, we’ll remove identifying information so a history of the websites and apps you’ve used won’t be associated with your account. We’ll still provide apps and websites with aggregated analytics.”
The idea behind the Clear History feature is to deliver more transparency for users, showing them a list of apps and websites that they visited that employ Facebook business tools, such as the Facebook Pixel, SDK and APL.
According to Facebook, it will be rolling out the new tool in the coming months.
Once the tool is live, and users are able to disconnect their off-Facebook activity from their profile, Facebook will no longer be able to use the data for ad targeting.
“This means that targeting options powered by Facebook’s business tools, like the Facebook pixel, can’t be used to reach someone with ads. This includes Custom Audiences built from visitors to websites or apps,” writes Facebook.
For advertisers planning their strategies for the second have of the year, it’s heavily advised that they take this information under consideration.
Facebook doesn’t anticipate any changes to measurement and analytics reports once the Clear History tool has launched. Since the company isn’t deleting off-platform activity by users, that data will be still be available for measurement reports.
“We will still be able to provide accurate measurement to help businesses understand the impact of their Facebook investment, while honoring people’s choice to exercise control over their off-Facebook activity,” writes Facebook.