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There was a time when advertisers could only find an audience for their Facebook ads based on users’ Facebook-submitted information like gender, age and whether they like Pages about cooking. But over the past year Facebook has been expanding the data that can be used for ad targeting to include non-Facebook information like the sites someone visits outside of Facebook, loyalty program memberships and, more recently, the types of products they buy in a brick-and-mortar store.
In February, Facebook announced partnerships with third-party data providers including Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon, to let advertisers target people on Facebook using those companies’ compiled audience segments, such as home improvement buyers or affluent baby boomers.