Will Facebook’s Clear History Option Affect Your Business?

Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other controversies, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced an upcoming privacy feature called “Clear History.” The announcement caught the attention of social media marketing experts.

“In your web browser, you have a simple way to clear your cookies and history,” Zuckerberg wrote in a 2018 Facebook post. “The idea is a lot of sites need cookies to work, but you should still be able to flush your history whenever you want. We’re building a version of this for Facebook too. It will be a simple control to clear your browsing history on Facebook – what you’ve clicked on, websites you’ve visited, and so on.”

The feature would allow users to see and clear any information about them that has been shared with Facebook by third-party apps and websites.

In August, roughly 18 months after Zuckerberg’s announcement, the feature finally rolled out in Ireland, South Korea, and Spain, with other countries to follow. The question for social media marketing businesses is: how will this affect my clients?

The new privacy controls could impact the effectiveness of Facebook’s targeting options. However, the scope of the impact will depend on how aggressively Facebook promotes the feature and how many users adopt it.

“The big question is how many people will use the tool,” said eMarketer principal analyst Nicole Perrin in a recent article. “Uptake of these types of capabilities tends to be low – but with Facebook’s data-sharing practices regularly making headlines for well over a year, more people might check this out. Still, I doubt it will put much of a crimp in most of Facebook’s targeting options.”

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with years of experience in search, display, and social media marketing, GrowthEngine Media is hopeful that Facebook’s new privacy controls will improve user protection without hampering important targeting capabilities. For more information about how the upcoming changes could affect your Facebook campaigns, feel free to reach out today.


Image credit: Anthony Quintano/Wikimedia Commons