Facebook App User IDs help developers target users by in-app actions

Facebook App User IDs are a new feature available to iOS developers who can use them to target their users by actions they took within their app. This is already available in the Facebook SDK for iOS, but will come to the Android SDK soon.

App User IDs are a component of Custom Audiences. Previously, advertisers could create targeting groups by hashed email addresses, phone numbers or user IDs. Now, developers have a way to target ads to their app users who haven’t logged in with Facebook or registered with an email address or phone number.

For example, a shopping app can target people who made a purchase and then show them ads with other items they may be interested in. A game developer can target engaged users of one of their games with ads for another game that they make.

To do this, developers make a request to Facebook’s servers to request an ID to be generated, whether it’s for users who installed an app or made a purchase. Facebook will return encrypted IDs that can then be compiled into a list for Custom Audience targeting through Power Editor or the Ads API. Then a developer can reach the audience with any type of Facebook ad, either on desktop or mobile.

Each call to Facebook’s server to generate an app user ID will generate a different ID so that a developer can’t use the ID across apps or app instances, making it more privacy friendly. Also, in some cases where users have turned off ad tracking in iOS 6, the call will not return an app user ID. The same would happen if the person does not have the Facebook app installed or isn’t logged in.

Nanigans VP of Product Per Sandell says App User IDs could help developers improve app re-engagement.

“Facebook’s mobile channels are already delivering significantly higher ROI than other mobile channels,” he says. “Coupling that with the 5X or more ROI increase provided by Custom Audience targeting over standard interest targeting, and Facebook’s mobile advertising solution just became that much more powerful for marketers across the globe.”


To learn more about this topic, join us at Inside Social Apps in San Francisco June 6-7. Nanigans GM of Games John Dobrowolski will be speaking on a panel about Trends in Mobile and Social Advertising moderated by Inside Facebook Lead Writer Brittany Darwell.

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