April 10, 2013
Up until now, advertisers have been able to target Facebook users based solely on their expressed interests. Partner categories, however, allows them to show ads to Facebook users based on the products and brands they buy across both desktop and mobile.
Partner categories, which uses data collected by select third parties such as Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon, is available to U.S. advertisers in Power Editor and through the API beginning today.
With partner categories, the advertiser knows only the size of the audience — it cannot access any information about individuals included in a category.
“Companies have long used this type of targeting off of Facebook, and we are excited to make this available to advertisers of all sizes on Facebook,” reads a Facebook Studio blog post. “At launch, partner categories include more than 500 unique groups.
“In addition, partner categories works with other Facebook targeting options, so advertisers can further refine their campaigns to reach only the right people. Ads that are well targeted benefit the advertisers who run them by driving higher return on investment and are a better experience for people who see more relevant ads.”
Facebook has taken the following steps to give users the ability to control how this advertising will work.
• Inline Transparency — When users see a Facebook ad, they can click the dropdown menu and then choose “About this Ad.” This will bring them to a page that identifies the company that was responsible for including them in the audience for the ad — whether that company is Facebook or a partner. Facebook also provides a centralized list on its own site of the third parties it works with.
• Comprehensive Control — Within the dropdown box associated with an ad, users can ask Facebook not to show that ad again or any ads from that partner. Partners will provide an opt-out option on their “About this ad” page.
• Enhanced Disclosures — Facebook’s partners will include information in their public knowledge centers on how they collect and use information.
• Data Access Tools — Facebook’s partners is developing tools to enable people to see the audience segment information the partner has associated with them, and to exercise control over that data.