Facebook ad targeting to use e-mails, phone numbers

A new tool for advertisers lets them target ads to customers who have already used their services.

Facebook plans to roll out a new advertising tool that will let companies target their ads to existing customers based on their phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

The social network is launching the new tool next week and touts it as a way for businesses to reengage with customers who have already used their services, according to a Facebook spokesperson.

For those who may have privacy concerns over this exchange of personal information, the social network said the process is secure.

What this means is Facebook isn't giving any of your data away, it's taking existing numbers and addresses from businesses and letting those businesses use the information to target its ads.

On the flip side, Facebook won't be gaining any new data from businesses. When advertisers give Facebook your data, it is hashed -- a security technique that scrambles your data -- before it is fed into the advertising machine. Once the ads are placed, Facebook dumps the hashed data, so that if an advertiser wants to do another ad, the process starts over again.

The new method was available briefly in the Facebook Power Editor, a virtual toolbox used by advertisers to create ads, according to InsideFacebook.

Facebook continues to figure out how to improve its advertising service amid revenue reports and forecasts that have not been up to par.

Of course, it's not the only company expanding its targeted advertising efforts. Twitter launched a feature today that puts tweets in the streams of a broader audience than before.

 

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