Farewell Facebook Custom Audiences & Partner Categories

The real world knock-on effects of the Cambridge Analytica situation are about to be felt for savvy Facebook advertisers. Those taking advantage of Custom Audiences and Partner categories will lose the ability to create these campaigns on Aug 15th. Facebook pulls in data from partners like Acxiom and Experian, allowing you to do cool things like target people based on demographics like "Home Ownership" - but this is soon to be a thing of the past.

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Also, some advertisers use Custom Audiences, a powerful feature that allows you to tap into your first party data e.g your customer's email addresses from your CRM, to target them specifically on Facebook. You can imagine how powerful something like this can be e.g a home loan vendor targeting people with refinancing ads 3 years after their settlement. This feature also seems to be among those to be deprecated.

Facebook's recent user growth woes and stock market slide have prompted them to look at many facets of their business, and the above changes are reflections of this. They have invested significantly in outdoor advertising, displaying messages like "DATA MISUSE IS NOT OUR FRIEND" and "FAKE ACCOUNTS ARE NOT OUR FRIEND" around Australian capital cities like Sydney. 

Nevertheless, Facebook remains one of the most targeted and efficient forms of marketing available, with hundreds of cool features in their bag of tricks. The full release of changes can be found here.