Struggling with advertisers complex demands, Facebook attempts to improve its current ad targeting strategy by providing advertisers more target-specific categories of people based on actions  taken outside of Facebook. The social giant calls this new mechanism “Partner Categories”.

This new self-serve advertising product, available for U.S. advertisers, contains around 500 new “unique groups”, which will provide advertisers a colossal opportunity to pinpoint prospective customers among Facebook’s 1 billion+ users. For instance, if you frequently go out to buy children’s breakfast cereal, you might see certain Facebook ads from different cereal brands, recommending you for trying out their product.

Partner Categories gets users’ information from Epsilon, Acxiom and Datalogix, all of which have been leveraging marketing database for quite a long time. At the moment Acxion is the only one these companies that stores over a trillion digital transactions as well. This is quite a unique combination of both offline and online data that would come in handy for advertisers. If compared with Google, Partner categories might stand toe to toe with the search giant in terms of offline data. However in terms of online transaction, it might take a lot of time till it comes close to the search giant, which has arguably the best consumer insight platform in the world so far.

In case you’re wondering about privacy concerns, this new ad targeting system reportedly protects users’ privacy with a double-blind system. According to this system, the data companies don’t identify users by name to Facebook and neither does Facebook identifies users by name to advertisers. Are you satisfied with the current ads shown on your Facebook page or do you think more relevant ads should be shown?

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