Facebook lets advertisers target people with same traits as customers

The social network is providing advertisers with a more scientific way to reach potential customers.

Facebook today announced the global release of "lookalike audiences," a new targeting option that lets advertisers reach people who share similar traits to current customers.

The specialized audience targeting tool, which the social network has been testing with select advertisers for a few weeks, goes a step beyond the company's custom audiences targeting option, introduced last fall, to help marketers intelligently go after new business.

With custom audiences, advertisers can serve Facebook ads to their existing customers. Lookalike audiences extends the targeting option so that advertisers can target ads, based on demographic qualities or geographic region, to Facebook users who resemble the people already on their customer lists.

"Now with lookalike audiences, Facebook can use attributes like interests or demographics and show ads to people who share common attributes as [advertisers'] existing customers," the company wrote in a blog post announcing the release.

Facebook said the new targeting tool will be available to advertisers in the power editor later this week.

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