For this week’s Facebook feature, we're looking at a new release from the social network: Partners Categories, an advertisement tool.

What are Partner Categories?

Partner Categories, which was launched last week, is a targeted online advertising tool that uses data from third-party sources, such Datalogix and Epsilon. In doing so, marketers can be more specific when targeting ads by using both online and offline information, such as a user’s shopping behavior.

Once gathered, the information is then grouped into one of 500 different categories, such as “people who are likely to buy children’s cereal" or "people who are likely to buy a full-sized SUV" and tells marketers what types of ads they should be promoting.

Each category has a brief description, specific details and an information source.


To date, advertisers have been able to show ads to people based on their expressed interests on Facebook,” said the blog post announcing the service. “Now with partner categories, they can also show ads to people on Facebook based on the products and brands they buy across both desktop and mobile.”

In addition to this, Partner Categories also works with other Facebook targeting tools, so that advertisers can create the best possible campaigns that reach the right audience and result in larger revenues, better customer experience and ROI.

Facebook assures its users that with the service, personal information isn't shared between the social network and the third-party sources or advertisers, but instead an advertiser only knows the size of the group.

A Good Addition to the Facebook Platform?

Over the past few months, Facebook has slowly been improving their advertising platform with mobile ads and the upcoming video advertising platform.

Overall, partners categories has been seen as a good tool for advertisers who use the social network.

If the time-worn advertising axiom of "right person, right place, right time" holds, Partner Categories should result in better ad performance,”said Tim Petersen of AdWeek “Because Facebook is able to match third-party data with people's actual email addresses and phone numbers.”

While it can be beneficial for advertisers,Dennis Yu of All Facebook says users should be wary as the service isn't full-proof.

Facebook’s dizzying pace of technology improvements demonstrates that it is on the verge of solving the social ROI riddle,” he said” But marketers and vendors are struggling to keep up. Even though Facebook can link offline sales to social behavior, it still must tackle the attribution issue, to give partial credit to every marketing touch that led up to the eventual sale.”