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Debora Paladino,

Creative Lead,

Admiral Media,

May 6, 2023

Meta’s Location Targeting Update and some Insights on Its Impact on some industries

We’ve had the pleasure of working with numerous clients across various industries. Recently, a significant and unexpected change to Meta’s location-targeting update caught our attention. This update has left many clients wondering how it might affect their advertising campaigns. Before diving into the details and sharing my insights, let’s recap the changes in location targeting options.


The Old Location Targeting Options

Previously, advertisers had four options for location targeting:

  • People living in or recently in this location
  • People living in this location
  • People recently in this location
  • People traveling in this location

These options provided a great deal of flexibility, allowing advertisers to tailor their campaigns based on their target audience’s location preferences.


The New Location Targeting Option

Now, Meta offers only one option for location targeting: “Living in or recently in this location.” This change means that advertisers can no longer specifically target locals, recent visitors, or travelers in a particular area. This update was implemented without prior notice, and we’ve been closely monitoring its impact on our clients’ campaigns.


How This Update Affects Our Clients

While the new location targeting option may not significantly impact most advertisers, it has implications for some clients who rely heavily on location-based targeting. Here are a few scenarios where this update might cause concerns:


E-commerce businesses with shipping restrictions

Some clients, particularly e-commerce businesses, may have shipping limitations based on geographic locations. For instance, a client might only ship to customers within the United States or have restrictions due to varying state laws. In such cases, targeting people who were “recently in” a location may lead to wasted ad spend on individuals who aren’t eligible for shipping.


Political campaigns, government organizations, and educational institutions

Clients in these sectors often need to target specific local residents, as their messaging and offerings are relevant only to those living in the area. With the updated targeting option, they might end up spending money on reaching people who are visiting or have recently visited the area but have no stake in local matters.


Local service providers

We work with numerous local service providers, such as roofers, plumbers, painters, and flooring companies. These businesses primarily cater to local residents, and the new targeting option could result in their ads being shown to recent visitors who have no need for their services.


Tourism-focused businesses

For clients who cater to tourists, the “Traveling in this location” option was valuable. However, the new update forces them to target everyone in the area or those who were recently there. This broad targeting may lead to less efficient ad spend.


The Road Ahead

While there’s no official statement from Meta explaining the change, we believe it could be due to a combination of low usage, privacy concerns, and reliance on the advertising algorithm to sort out targeting efficiently. For now, running campaigns using the old method is not impacted, but duplicating or creating new ad sets will reflect the new location targeting method. We anticipate that running campaigns using the old method will eventually have a deadline, after which they’ll likely stop if not updated to the new option.


Our Approach to the New Location Targeting

At Admiral Media, our priority is to ensure that our clients’ campaigns continue to perform optimally despite these changes. Here are a few strategies we’re adopting to help clients make the most of the new targeting option:


Leveraging other targeting features (continued)

We’re exploring these options to create more refined targeting combinations for our clients. By combining location targeting with other relevant targeting features, we can minimize the impact of the broader location targeting option and maintain campaign efficiency.


Monitoring campaign performance closely

We’re closely monitoring the performance of our clients’ campaigns to identify any significant shifts in results due to the new location targeting option. By regularly analyzing campaign data, we can make necessary adjustments to ensure our clients’ advertising objectives are still being met.


Focusing on ad creatives

With the change in location targeting, it becomes even more critical to have compelling and relevant ad creatives. We’re working closely with our clients to develop ad creatives that resonate with their target audience, regardless of their location. By delivering engaging and tailored content, we can help our clients maintain strong campaign performance.


Experimenting with different campaign objectives

Different campaign objectives can yield varying results in terms of audience reach and engagement. We’re testing various objectives to identify the most effective ones for our clients, considering the new location targeting option. This approach enables us to adapt their campaigns and optimize them for success.


Educating clients on the change

We’re proactively informing our clients about the location targeting update and discussing its potential impact on their campaigns. By keeping them informed, we can work together to adjust their marketing strategies and make data-driven decisions based on the new targeting option’s performance.



We understand that platform updates like Meta’s location targeting changes can be challenging for clients. However, by adapting our strategies and focusing on other targeting options, ad creatives, and campaign optimization, we can continue to help our clients achieve their advertising goals. It’s essential to stay agile and be prepared to pivot as advertising platforms evolve, our ability to adapt and innovate is key to our clients’ success.

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