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Facebook's Ad Platform Test: No Keywords Allowed

  |  March 9, 2011   |  Comments

Industry blog posts suggest that specific profile targeting may be getting phased out.

facebook-icon3333Facebook is conducting a test with a small set of advertisers where keyword targeting is disallowed during ad creation, according to AllFacebook.com. Rather, the test group is utilizing a new broad-category targeting feature.

More specifically, a blog post by online marketer David Oh states advertisers will not be able to zero in on Facebook users who "like" a particular music group such as "The Beatles." Instead, they will be able to target people by the "Music" category in terms of their shown interests.

ClickZ asked the Palo Alto, CA-based social site to respond to the claims. Via an e-mail, a Facebook spokesperson said, "We are always testing new ways to improve our advertising systems. We have no further details to share at this time."

Meanwhile AllFacebook.com published Facebook's response to an advertiser inquiry about the possible changes:


Thanks for your email. Broad Category targeting is intended to help advertisers more easily and accurately reach their desired audience using categories rather than individual targeting criteria. This option is currently being tested among a limited set of advertisers. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to opt out of this test.

If you have any other questions related to Facebook Ads, please feel free to let me know.

Thanks for contacting Facebook,


Online Sales Operations


Lastly, according to AllFacebook.com, there's speculation that Facebook may plan to offer keyword targeting only to marketers who are willing to pay for access to the platform's ads API. Such a move could theoretically make Facebook.com ads more expensive for small marketers.



Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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