First-party hygiene: Facebook shows users when a Custom Audience list was uploaded

  •   August 11, 2019

Facebook added Custom Audience details to the “Why am I seeing this ad?” notification in News Feed ads in February. Users can see if their contact information was included on a Custom Audience list uploaded by the advertiser. Now, users can also see when a Custom Audience and if the advertiser worked with marketing partners to run the ad.

Why you should care

The change means advertisers need to be extra vigilant about keeping their first-party lists updated.

Previously, users could see ad targeting information such as demographic details, interests, websites they had visited and if they were part of a Custom Audience list. With this latest update, the “Why am I seeing this ad?” notification goes beyond simply letting a user know if they are on a list uploaded by an advertiser, providing a specific date when the Custom Audience list was uploaded and if the list was created by an agency or marketing partner connected to the advertiser.

With this added Custom Audience list information, users may be more likely to hide an ad or report an advertiser if they believe there is anything remiss about their contact information being included on a list. Ultimately, advertisers will need to stay on top of their Custom Audience list targeting practices and implement quality control measures to keep their lists — and whatever lists their agencies may be using — clean.

It’s now even more important to ensure your email unsubscribes are also scrubbed from Custom Audience lists.

More on the news

  • This latest update also includes a new “Why am I seeing this post?” notification on posts from friends and organic posts from Groups or Pages in a user’s News Feed (visible when a user clicks on the three dots at the top right hand corner of a post). This is the first time Facebook is showing how its News Feed algorithm ranks organic posts.
  • Facebook also now shows shortcuts to the following News Feed controls: See First, Unfollow, News Feed Preferences and Privacy Shortcuts.
  • Facebook’s “Why am I seeing this ad?” first launched in 2014, since then the company has added more information to the notification to give users more context and control around the ads they’re shown.