Last Updated: July 3, 2018

In case you hadn’t heard, Facebook’s Partner Categories are being removed. Partner Categories, which provided third-party data from companies like Acxiom, allowed advertisers to target Facebook users based on criteria like:

  • income level
  • whether they were likely to move
  • what car they drove
  • user behavior data

These targeting options and many more became unavailable for audiences based in France, Germany, and the UK on May 11, 2018. By October 1, 2018, Partner Categories will be completely removed from the Facebook ads platform.

This is of course in response to the scandals Facebook has been involved in recently with regards to data collection. In exchange for Facebook users’ piece of mind, our jobs as digital marketers just got a little harder 🙂

Fortunately, you have other options. Among other trends that will emerge in 2019, you should also expect to see marketers finding new ways to reach their target audience on Facebook. Here some ad targeting alternatives to Facebook’s Partner Categories.


Facebook is still a great advertising platform. You’ll just have to find other ways to target Facebook users. Interest-Based Targeting can be effective for certain markets, but retargeting and custom audiences are your best bet.


LinkedIn clicks tend to be more expensive, but if you’re looking to target people by job title or employer, this is the way to go.

Google Display Network

You can still target users by income level on the GDN (for now at least). You can also use remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) to create bid adjustments for certain income levels.

Programmatic Display

Demand-side platforms (DSPs) still offer robust third-party data. If you want to experiment, try Choozle. It’s the most cost-effective way to get into programmatic display because they don’t have a minimum ad spend (just a $99/mo fee when your ads are active and potentially some premiums depending on what data you use). They have 60+ data providers and offer targeting by purchase history, user behavior, psychographics, and more.

Get Creative

Losing third-party data on Facebook is definitely going to require most Facebook advertisers to make some pretty serious changes. Fortunately, we’re a resilient bunch. Get creative!

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