A massive Facebook exploit has been discovered and it’s gonna impact the way advertisers use the platform.
Facebook has now stopped showing Audience Reach Estimates for any campaign that’s using a Custom Audience as part of the targeting.
The exploit potentially allows data brokers to build comprehensive profiles of individuals inside Custom Audiences.
Considering the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s no wonder that Facebook is fast to take action about this.
In a statement that has not been widely reported by the media yet, they have said:
We’re grateful to the researchers who found this issue, and we’ve suspended this feature to fix it. People’s privacy and security is incredibly important to Facebook, which is why we take any potential abuse of our service very seriously
Audience Reach will not be shown for Custom Audiences, and also for Look-alike Audiences.
Now this is a big deal if you are retargeting on Facebook, or running offers as part of a sales funnel.
Facebook has said they will investigate in a way to fix this bug, but they don’t have a time scale for us at the moment.
So it could be quite some time before the feature returns, if ever.
But I’ve got mixed views about this.
On one hand, its great that Facebook are finally taking privacy seriously – or appearing to be taking privacy seriously at last.
It’s taking them a few years to get to this point.
And then on the other hand, this development is gonna make life a little bit more difficult for us advertisers.
I suppose if we’re talking about people’s privacy then that obviously has to come first.
But I’m gonna miss the Audience Reach Estimate tool in some of my campaigns and I’m sure you will, too.
If this is news to you then share this with people in your network and let them know about this development so they’re not caught off-guard.