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Facebook's Link History Archive: its Implications for Users and Marketers

Navigating the Pros and Cons of Meta's New Feature and Its Impact on Targeted Advertising in a Cookieless Era

NEWS  Security  January 4, 2024  Reading time: 2 Minute(s)

mdo Max (RS editor)

Facebook, now Meta, has initiated the global archiving of users' link history on mobile devices running both Android and iOS. This article explores the intricacies of this new feature, delving into its implications for the future of targeted advertising amid the industry's shift towards a cookieless environment and heightened privacy regulations.

Why it Matters

As the digital marketing landscape evolves, the reliance on targeted advertising is facing uncertainties due to increasing privacy concerns and the impending demise of third-party cookies. Meta's decision to archive link history can be seen as a strategic maneuver to provide marketers with a potential loophole for reaching high-value consumers.

The Accessibility Angle

While the Link History archive option is gradually rolling out globally, its availability may vary depending on the user's location. Meta has not provided a specific timeline for the complete rollout, emphasizing that the feature will eventually extend to all mobile users worldwide. Currently, this functionality is exclusive to mobile devices and is not accessible on desktop platforms.

How Link History Works

Link History is designed to keep track of users' website visits within the Facebook mobile browser over a 30-day period. This feature, enabled by default, stores links tapped within the Facebook Mobile Browser during this timeframe. Notably, links visited in Messenger chats are excluded from the Link History archive.

Managing Link History

For users concerned about privacy and data collection, is it possible to disable the Link History feature. The process involves accessing Facebook's Mobile Browser settings and toggling the switch for "Allow Link History". Meta emphasizes that users can choose to turn link history on or off at any time, with the immediate clearance of link history upon deactivation.

Insights from Facebook

A spokesperson from Meta sheds light on the feature, assuring users that they have the choice to control their link history settings. When link history is turned off, Meta commits to immediately clearing the link history and ceasing its use for ad improvement purposes across Meta technologies. However, users are advised that the deletion process may take up to 90 days.

As the digital marketing landscape undergoes significant transformations, Meta's Link History feature emerges as a potential game-changer for marketers seeking avenues to maintain effective targeted advertising. Nevertheless, the dynamic nature of privacy regulations and the evolving preferences of users imply that this solution may be a temporary workaround.




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