If things weren’t hard enough in the world of marketing already – courtesy of the GDPR monster coming over the hill – now, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data debacle (approximately 87 million users have had data inappropriately used), Facebook is restricting third party access to users’ data on its platform.

All requests from third-party apps – to access information such as check-ins, likes, photos and posts – will now need to be approved by Facebook. And apps will no longer be able to ask for access to personal information such as religious and political views, relationship status, education and work history.

This means that Facebook users’ data will no longer be accessible via their events, groups, pages, Facebook login and Instagram apps.

Facebook is also showing its users a link at the top of their news feed through which they can easily see all the apps that they use, as well as the information that they have shared with them. They will have the ability to remove all the apps that they no longer use and, as part of this process, Facebook will also inform users if their information has potentially been shared with Cambridge Analytica.

In News Feeds, priority is being given to content from friends and family, pushing to one side public content like posts from businesses, brands and media. All this means that it will be harder to target your audience via Facebook and get your content in front of them.

A better option might be to use Facebook Ads instead, as these don’t appear to be included in the changes to the News Feed, Ads will still be seen. But don’t forget that other social media platforms are also available – and these might be more appropriate to your target audience anyway.

Making changes to the way developers can access Facebook may be a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, but it will impact the way marketers can use Facebook.

How marketers collect, store and use data on their target audiences is going to change irrevocably. But insightful and effective digital marketing is still achievable. To find out how give us a call!