If you haven’t been notified by Facebook in ads manager lately or read the latest Facebook news, some big changes are coming to the audience network placement. Historically advertisers have been able to use what are known as exclusion categories for controlling where their ads show. Those are gradually going away and the new option, inventory filter, will be taking its place. So what exactly is the difference with this change? Let’s dive in.

What exactly is changing?

Like mentioned, if you have been advertising on the audience network in Facebook you have always had the option to control where your ads show by using exclusion categories. These categories; debatable social issues, mature, tragedy and conflict, dating, and gambling were used to prevent your ads from showing on websites, apps, and content that were based around them. In short, they were a good method to help you ensure brand safety. In the future these exclusion categories will no longer be available as Facebook is forcing the transition to inventory filters instead.

What are inventory filters?

Inventory filters are more or less just the new exclusion categories however there are some significant changes. You will no longer be able to exclude by category like listed above. Instead, you will have three options: full inventory, standard inventory, and limited inventory. Notice how these new filters don’t exactly tell you what is included in them up front. Facebook does mention that they will automatically exclude content like nudity and excessive violence by default no matter which of the three filters you select. However, if you want a deeper explanation of how the filters work we have to examine them a little more closely.

How inventory filters work.

To reiterate, we will now have three options of filters to choose from. They are full inventory, standard inventory, and limited inventory. Those names don’t exactly explain what they mean so I will give you an example of how Facebook describes them below.

This is just one example of how the new filters will work. For the sake of brevity, I have not included a table like the one above for every kind of content (tragedy or conflict, debatable social issues, sexual or suggestive, etc…). If you’d like the full list you can visit Facebook’s help page.

Moving Forward

These changes coming to audience network are a good thing. We will have more clarity into exactly how Facebook’s exclusion system works for what content is included or excluded. If these changes make you nervous for any reason, just know you are still able to download a list of where your ads have shown across audience network. You can look through these sites/apps and make custom block lists to prevent your ads from showing there ever again.