Starting next month, Meta will remove the option for targeting advertising to teen users based on gender. The company will also end advertisers’ ability to target personalized ads to under-18 users based on their in-app activity, including who they follow on Instagram and what Facebook pages they like.

After the changes, personalized ads on those apps will only draw on a user’s age and location to determine relevance. According to Meta, location is necessary to assess which products and services are available in a user’s area.

In two months, Facebook and Instagram will also roll out new controls for teen users (kids under age 13 aren’t allowed on those apps — technically). Teens will be given an option to “see less” of a given topic, shaping which ads the platform will serve them.

Meta’s incremental changes obviously stop short of turning off ads altogether for teens, a solution that wouldn’t be unreasonable given the risks involved. The company’s decision to stay the course suggests that its youngest users are valuable enough from an advertising perspective that Meta is willing to risk future regulatory wrangling rather than going cold turkey.

Instagram and Facebook introduce more limits on targeting teens with ads by Taylor Hatmaker originally published on TechCrunch