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Google & Facebook’s Plans to Restrict Ads Targeting Minors

In a few months, Google and Facebook are changing their policies on how they choose to target and product experiences for children. So, what exactly is changing? Learn what both companies plan to do as increased privacy concerns for minors have been a hot topic over the last year.


This week, Google shared their forthcoming plans:

  • Location History: The most impactful change for marketers will be updates to Location History. By now, it is toggled to ‘OFF’ and is the default for children. The next step that Google is planning is to extend this to is users under the age of 18m- globally. A big caveat is there will be no option to turn this back ‘ON.’  
  • Targeting: Google will also be increasing its protections to limit age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to teenagers. Additionally, Google will block ad targeting based on the age, gender, or interests of people under 18.
  • YouTube: The default setting for uploads will be set to the most private level for teens ages 13-17 years old.
  • Search: SafeSearch will remove explicit content if enabled and will be the default setting for individuals signed in and under the age of 13 years old.


Google isn’t the only company stepping up to protect minors – Facebook is following similarly.

  • Blocking ads: Only a few weeks ago, Facebook announced they will not allow marketers to show ads to individuals under the age of 18.
  • Interest & Activity: Additionally, marketers cannot target based on the minor’s interests or activity on other apps and websites. There will still be the option to target ads to individuals based on age, gender, and location.

These changes will not just apply to Facebook either. Instagram and Facebook Messenger will adopt the advertising changes too.

“This is a good move on both ad platform’s (Google and Facebook’s) behalf as they need to consider the users who visit their site ahead of advertisers. For advertisers impacted, they should consider the tactics that they have traditionally used to target minors and establish a strategy that helps to build a relationship with that demographic.”

– Shane Ragiel, Senior Director of Strategy, Chacka Marketing

Why are companies making the changes?

Many youth advocates have been calling on platforms to make these changes for a while. You may recall a report that Instagram was to make a strictly youth-oriented Instagram app for individuals under the age of 13. This announcement was met with harsh criticism from parents and advocates.

What do you think of the changes? We’d love to hear your thoughts – comment below!

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