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This article was published on October 23, 2013

Facebook starts rolling out Custom Audiences to all advertisers, letting them use contact lists for targeted ads

Facebook starts rolling out Custom Audiences to all advertisers, letting them use contact lists for targeted ads

Facebook today announced its Custom Audiences targeting feature is rolling out to all US advertisers, with the rollout to all advertisers worldwide expected to finish by the end of November. This means businesses of every size can start targeting only their customers with ads.

For those who don’t know, Facebook’s custom audience feature, which launched last fall, lets marketers take their current customer lists and show ads to just those people on Facebook. Previously, the feature was only available through Facebook’s Power Editor tool, although Facebook boasts this still led “thousands” of advertisers to use it in their campaigns.

In other words, today’s announcement means marketers will be able to use Custom Audiences in any Facebook ad interface. As a result, small businesses will be able to use their current customer lists to reach people on Facebook.


Also new today is MailChimp support. Businesses can now use their MailChimp lists with Facebook’s Custom Audiences.

To use Custom Audiences, all you have to do is upload customer information like email addresses or phone numbers. Once your contacts are on Facebook, the social network will let you target matched users with ads for your site, Facebook Page, or mobile app.

Facebook offers two examples:

  • Message existing customers with promotions or offers on Facebook. For example, a local auto dealer can reach people who bought a car a year ago with an ad for a free oil change.
  • Find new customers in a specific area by excluding existing customers from campaigns. A clothing boutique might try to reach new customers in its area by excluding people who have already signed up for its mailing list.

Facebook promises that Custom Audiences is “data protective.” The company says the feature is specifically designed so it doesn’t share people’s private information without their consent.

See also – Facebook announces tools to let advertisers target people who visited their site or used their mobile app and Facebook redesigns its ad buying and reporting tools to help businesses meet ‘objectives’

Top Image Credit: Manjunath Kiran/Getty Images