Ever amping up new ways for advertisers to engage with users, Facebook began rolling out a new feature today that doubles down on the social network's use of ad targeting.
Dubbed "partner categories," Facebook's new feature aims to target ads to more categories of people. These categories use data from third parties, such as Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon, to glean information about what users buy on the Web.
Here's more from a Facebook blog post:
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.
Just last month, the social network began testing a dicey advertising feature that let advertisers and agencies use Facebook Exchange (FBX) to serve retargeted ads on users' News Feeds. These retargeted ads take into account people's browsing behavior outside Facebook, as captured through cookies, with the aim of offering up messages about products they've already shown interest in.
It's unclear if ads using partner categories will also be displayed in users' News Feeds. So far, Facebook says that partner categories already include more than 500 unique groups, such as car buyers, cereal buyers, and frozen food buyers.
"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 wrote.