This week I came across this language in the Facebook Ads Manager for the first time (this very well may have been in the UI for some time, but it was new to me):
That tooltip also ties into a Facebook help article titled "About Conversion and Value Optimization Using Detailed Targeting" that goes into more detail on the above. I was unable (or too dumb) to figure out how to actually share that article directly so instead I've copy pasted the text from the article in full below (apologies for the plagiarism, Facebook team!). In short, in this tool tip and the associated help article they are being very clear that detailed targeting is merely a guide for their algo's targeting as opposed to a pure targeting limiter, which I believe has been the case for some time.
Given this and other changes to the platform, I really wonder how far off the DTC equivalent of Automated App Ads could be. It seems like it's time...
Facebook's Help article, in-full:
"About Conversion and Value Optimization Using Detailed Targeting
Our ad delivery system uses the demographics, interests and behaviors you select through detailed targeting as a guide for ad delivery. When you use detailed targeting for new or duplicated ad sets that optimize for value and conversion, our system may deliver outside your detailed targeting segments if our system predicted a consumer would convert more efficiently.
This only applies to detailed targeting inclusions. Detailed targeting options used for exclusion and any targeting selections outside of detailed targeting (such as age, gender, and location) will not be included in this new detailed targeting experience. It’s also not available for campaigns that use Special Ads Categories such as Housing, Employment, and Credit (HEC) and Social Issues, Elections, and Politics (SIEP).
How it works
Our system uses your detailed targeting selections to guide ad delivery, while also dynamically assessing performance. For advertisers leveraging ad sets using value and conversion optimizations, a notification will appear with messaging that our systems may deliver ads beyond their detailed targeting inclusions, if we think doing so is likely to improve performance. Any exclusions and targeting selections outside of detailed targeting (such as age, gender, location and language) will continue to apply.
You can add detailed targeting selections as exclusions if you don't want us to consider certain demographics, interests and behaviors if we expand your ad set’s audience. Our system won’t deliver ads to excluded audiences. Keep in mind our advertising policies prohibiting wrongful discrimination still apply.
To exclude an audience:
With the release of TikTok’s Creative Center, we’ve been taking a deep dive into the Top Ads section to find some trends in what is working on the platform. It’s a great resource for brainstorming new ad ideas for your ads.
At the suggestion of our Snapchat rep, we tested Snapchat's Lifestyle Categories that an account indexed strongly with to see how they performed relative to our standard broad targeting.