Facebook Gives Developers and Brands Ability to Target Consumers

A new application for Custom Audiences

Facebook now provides a way for developers and brands to target consumers, resulting in more relevant ads on the website and native apps. Developers speaking at Mobile DevCon 2013 in London on Thursday announced the creation of an Android SDK feature that will create a new targeting field based on Facebook's Custom Audiences, The Next Web reported.

Custom Audiences is a marketing tool built by Facebook that allows to engage "a set of users with whom they have already established a relationship on/off Facebook." This "relationship" means anyone the marketer can identify using an email address, Facebook user ID, phone number or app user ID.

This feature will allow developers to use information about offline audiences—those who walk into a brick-and-mortar store—to tailor their Facebook ads. A retail app such as Net-a-Porter could make suggestions via Facebook to customers based on their past purchases. Video game developers could target consumers with in-app purchases or other, similar games.

Facebook announced the creation of Custom Audiences in February. In April, Facebook opened up ad-targeting to third-party data. The company sees such specific ad-targeting as a way to commercialize without alienating users.