Facebook Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audiences (CA) allow advertisers to target their ads to a specific set of people with whom they have already established a relationship, on or off Facebook. Custom Audiences can be created by uploading a file of hashed email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook User IDs, or App User IDs (such as Apple's IDFA or Android's advertising ID).

Before the audience is uploaded, the data is hashed and Facebook compares the hashes of their identifiers to match users in a privacy compliant way. 

  1. Navigate to Optimize > Audiences 
  2. Click "+ New Audience" on the top right 
  3. Select "Custom Audience" from the list of Audience types 
  4. Input the following information:
  • Facebook Account: CAs are stored on your Facebook account, so if you have multiple linked to your Advertiser, ensure you have selected the correct account. 
  • Audience Name: The name of your audience. This name is also set on Facebook. 
  • Data Input Type: The types of identifiers you are uploading. Options include email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook UIDs, or Mobile App User IDs (Apple's IDFA or Android's Advertising ID) 
  • File: Select the file containing the comma separated identifiers
  • Hash Method: If the data is prehashed, select either the MD5 or SHA256 hashing method used. If the data is not already hashed, AdParlor will hash it for you before it is uploaded.

Note: Your account must accept the Terms and Conditions for Custom Audiences before an Audience can be created on your account. To view and accept these terms, go to


Use Cases

New User Acquisition Campaigns 

When an Advertiser is attempting to acquire new users, whether that be growing their install base of their application, or driving new signups on their website, it is imperative that they are excluding their existing users from seeing their ads, in order to ensure that their advertising dollars are being spent effectively. As a subscription based advertiser, I would:

  1. Use my CRM system to extract a list of email addresses of existing users that have already signed up to my website 
  2. Hash these comma separated values using MD5 or SHA256 
  3. Create a Custom Audience called "Existing Website Users" on my advertising account 
  4. Exclude these users from all new user acquisition ad uploads

Re-engage Existing Customer Base 

Custom Audiences are also very effective at re-engaging existing customers, who may be at various points in the conversion funnel. If I am a paid subscription based website, and I allow users to have a free trial premium account and I want to convert these free trial users into paying customers, I would use a Custom Audience of these users to encourage them to take the next step in the conversion funnel. I would do the following: 

  1. Use my CRM system to extract a list of email addresses of free trial users who have not converted into premium paying users 
  2. Hash these comma separated values using MD5 or SHA256 
  3. Create a Custom Audience called "Free Trial Users" on my advertising account 
  4. Inclusion target this Custom Audience on my ad uploads 
  5. My page post content may say something like "Enjoyed the free trial? Sign up for a premium account, and receive 20% off your subscription fee - today only", with a Call To Action (CTA) button of "Sign Up"

Related Articles

  • To Inclusion or Exclusion Target users of your Custom Audience, see the article on Targeting in the Facebook Uploader. 
  • To create a List of Custom Audiences for easier management in the uploader, see the article on creating Lists in the Library 


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