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BizReport : Advertising archives : March 11, 2011

'Broad Category' targeting a step back for Facebook advertising?

Advertisers are left wondering whether Facebook's "Broad Category" targeting, currently in test, will improve advertising on the network or if it's a step backwards.

by Helen Leggatt

facebook logo.gifShould the new functionality be rolled out, it would see keyword targeting based on Likes replaced with "Broad Category" targeting.

In an email to, Facebook's Online Operations Team explains that the test among a limited set of advertisers uses "Broad Category" targeting "rather than individual targeting criteria".

While Facebook say this will make it "easier" for advertisers to reach their desired audience, it takes away the ability to drill down within categories. Many see this as a step backwards.

As online marketer David Oh points out in a recent blog post, "that means it's a lot harder to target via specific interest, for example, an interest in "The Beatles" as a band, rather than the overall category of "Music". It's also impossible to ascertain and research different demographics which may have interest in a specific category."

The move could see the cost of targeted advertising rise on the social network if businesses are charged for access to the network's ad API.

Tags: advertising, Facebook

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