Blog Post

Facebook Update: Custom Audiences No Longer Contain Estimated Reach

January 12, 2018
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This week, another Facebook update has rolled out. This update has caused some frustrations for advertisers who have been trying to create audiences, yet have seen a large discrepancy between the target criteria inserted and the calculated estimated reach. If you have experienced this issue lately, you are not alone. In this blog, you will find the answer to why you may have experienced glitches over the past week, why your estimated reach has disappeared, and more recent Facebook updates.

While creating an audience, you may have seen a large drop in estimated reach when including more interests, behaviors, etc. Perhaps you were referring back to a recently made audience and noticed a shift from “defined” to “too specific” when no changes had been made. It’s also possible that some of your analytics have disappeared within the platform. Whichever the experience, it was due to the recent Facebook update that affects Custom Audiences.

RelatedFacebook Custom Audiences- Oracle Audiences

This update will remove the feature of viewing estimated reach when creating a Custom Audience. The functionality of serving and creating such ad will remain intact, however, the functionality of viewing the estimated reach will be gone. You will still be able to view whether the audience is defined, too specific, or too broad. To stress, this will not affect Saved Audiences, just Custom Audiences. For the full list of audiences affected, please see the items below via Facebook:

  • Custom Audiences from a customer file
  • Offline conversions Custom Audiences
  • Website & Mobile app Custom Audiences
  • Offline event data in Facebook Analytics

The feature has been taken away due to a technical issue that could have caused future misuse. The only current workarounds are to rely on the terms matched with the audience you are creating or editing (i.e. too broad, etc.) and to contact your Facebook representative if any crucial analytics disappear. Facebook does understand the impact and difficulty this causes for advertisers who rely heavily on this metric and are in the works of regaining the feature.

In reference to the audience number you may be trying to hit when seeing “defined,” Facebook suggests an audience of 100,000 for best performance, although this completely depends on a case-by-case scenario. Nonetheless, for those of you who were trying to create a Saved Audience, rest assure as the glitch should be fixed.

RelatedBuilding Facebook Ad Custom Audiences: A Quick Guide

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Other Updates

Engagement Baiting

Say goodbye to engagement baiting tactics, as they will now negatively affect the posts you are trying to get large engagement on. This includes adding “Like this post,” “Comment below,” “Comment a heart if___,” and the like in your caption.

The reason for this update is due to the spam-like posts that have been created by many accounts. In other words, Facebook’s ultimate concern is the satisfaction of its users. Users only want to see the posts they will enjoy, hence the current algorithm. So engagement baiting tactics may cause a lot of engagement, but this engagement is not deemed authentic, as they were tricked or prompted to like/comment on a post, rather than naturally choosing to engage.

Facebook is increasingly pushing marketers to strive for authentic engagement and think strategically about what relevant posts to make for their specific target audience without cutting corners. Engagement baiting will be monitored through bots that will scan for the particular keywords associated and when found, your reach will dramatically decrease for that post. The exception to this rule will be contest/giveaways in which the entry requirement includes liking or commenting on the post.

The ultimate route to success here is to create content based on both your service and the interests of your audience. Study and analyze your audience, create relevant and engagement-driving content, and continue to test and optimize accordingly.

Universal Music Feature

Facebook and Universal Music have announced an agreement that will provide the ability to use UMG music on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Oculus. Why is this important? This provides homemade or custom-made videos with more music options to take them to the next level and make the video space a bit more competitive for the underdogs. Before this agreement, sharing a video containing music that was not yours or in the public domain was in fact illegal.

Looking toward the future, these companies will be collaborating together to create new music products. Could this mean updates for Facebook or a completely new app itself? We’ll see…




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