"There's a story brewing about a next very big business it's building -- one that competes with one of Yahoo's flagship ad products and would kill us," said a source last fall.
The product is called "partner categories" and it enables Facebook to market products directly to users who have purchased similar items offline in the past. It does this by using tracking technology from partner firm Datalogix. You can read the full press release from Facebook below.
Tell Us What You Think
Today we're launching partner categories, a new way to target ads to more categories of people. For example, a local car dealership can now show ads to people who are likely in the market for a new car who live near their dealership. To date, advertisers have been able to show ads to people based on their expressed interests on Facebook. Now with partner categories, they can also show ads to people on Facebook based on the products and brands they buy across both desktop and mobile.
Partner categories uses data from select third parties including Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon. No personal information is shared between Facebook, third parties or advertisers. Partner categories work the same way all targeting on Facebook works. The advertiser only knows the size of the audience and can't access any information about individuals included in a category. For more on this, see our post here.
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.
At launch, partner categories includes 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.
Partner categories will be available to US advertisers in Power Editor and through the API starting today. Here's a preview:
We want to hear from you! How do you think Facebook's new feature will shape the advertising industry? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments!
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