Meta changes targeting, introduces paid subscriptions and offers to take a vacation from itself

Publication date: 15 Nov 2021

In the autumn of 2021, Facebook Corporation (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp brands) changed its name to Meta. The rebranding is related to the concept of the so-called Metaverse, which will include elements of virtual and augmented reality.  According to the company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, the new name shows that the company has space to evolve. And the mission will remain the same – to unite people.

Meta bans targeting ads based on religious and political themes

Meta (Facebook and Instagram, Audience Network) is changing its advertising policy. From January 2022, several thousand keywords that were previously used to target ads will disappear.

These include words related to health, religion, sexual orientation, as well as political beliefs, social issues and race. Now any advertiser will no longer be able to restrict ad views to the categories like ‘chemotherapy’, ‘LGBT culture’, ‘same-sex marriage’, ‘Catholic church’ and ‘Jewish holidays’.

“It is important to note that the targeting categories we remove are not based on people’s physical characteristics and personality traits, and are not relevant to users’ interaction with content on our platform. Nevertheless, there are concerns that such targeting options may be used in a way that could lead to negative consequences,” the company said.

As a reminder, Facebook has previously banned targeting ads based on ethnicity, sexuality, and religion.

Instagram will introduce paid subscriptions

Instagram is preparing to introduce paid subscriptions to channels within the app and give users access to exclusive content for an additional fee. Information about this has appeared in the AppStore.

Paid subscriptions in Russia will start at 99 rubles. In the US, the price will range from $0.99 to $4.99. The social network may also introduce Exclusive Stories, when users will be able to pay separately for selected stories by authors. Exactly when the new features will appear is unknown.

It was previously known that Instagram was developing and testing several new features at once. It was planned that exclusive stories would appear on the social network, highlighted in purple and could not be screenshot.

Instagram suggests users take a break from the social network

Instagram has started testing a new feature called Take a Break that will remind users to have a rest from the social network.

It is up to the user to choose how long a reminder should be given: it can be an interval of 10, 20 or 30 minutes. When the interval expires, the feature will prompt the user to close Instagram and advise what they can do during the break – for example, take a few deep breaths, listen to their favourite song or do something from their to-do list.

Testing is expected to be completed by December 2021, at which point Take a Break should become a major feature of the social network.

Instagram had previously announced restrictions for teenagers. The social network will have a parental control feature. It will allow adults to keep track of the content their child views and remind them to take a break if their child is online for too long.

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