The world is continuously evolving and Facebook is right there to keep up with the changes. The days of selecting gender as just “male” or “female” are over. Today, there are a variety of ways for people to identify themselves. Facebook is now offering a custom option for people to identify themselves with about 50 different choices. It ranges from transgender to bi-gender and many more. Also, there will be three preferred pronoun choices to use: him, her or them. For example, if it was a female’s birthday, Facebook would ask you to write a post on ‘her’ timeline. This new option will change it to ‘their’ timeline if the person identifies themselves as gender neutral.
To many users of the social media beast, this may be a shrug of the shoulders because it does not affect them. However, for people who are transgender, for example, this is a huge deal.
Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison states, “All too often transgender people like myself and other gender nonconforming people are given this binary option, do you want to be male or female? What is your gender? And it’s kind of disheartening because none of those let us tell others who we really are.”
Facebook is a huge influencer and has taken a major step by leading the way on becoming more tolerant of how people identify themselves. Google+ currently has the option of “other” when selecting gender on their social media platform. However, the decision of Facebook to now offer a wide variety of specific gender identities puts them ahead of the game.
What does this mean for Facebook Advertisers?
Facebook Ads are well known to be directed toward one’s gender when targeting their interests. This new option “gender neutral” statuses will change the game up a little bit. Ads will now be targeted toward the identity that a person selects. Changing your gender away from the “male” or “female” option will not make it pop up on your timeline like a “relationship” status does, for example.