New Requirements for Facebook Custom Audiences + Expert Opinions

By Tinuiti Team

Heads up advertisers, one of Facebook’s most powerful targeting tools, Custom Audiences  — is about to undergo change.

Facebook announced new requirements for uploading and sharing custom audiences that will go into effect starting July 2nd, 2018.

Here’s a quick overview of what to expect with the new changes to custom audiences with opinions from the experts.

TIMELINE UPDATE – Partner Categories

August 15: After this date, Partner Categories will no longer be available for campaign creation, editing, or duplication. After this date, any previously shared customer file Custom Audience that does not have a Business Manager relationship in place and was not shared through the new flow will no longer be available.


October 1: No campaigns will deliver to Partner Categories after this date.


facebook custom audiences new requirements + expert analysis

“These changes add an additional step to audience production. Meaning it won’t be as seamless as before. Uploading emails, for example, will now have to be completed manually by advertisers or the client.”

Jenny Stiles CPC Strategy

-Jenny Stiles, Social Marketing Coordinator at CPC Strategy

“The process is a relatively minor change. Facebook is finally policing their functionality after five years so that the responsibility shifts to the advertiser and off of Facebook.”

Justin Lofton Sync Sumo

-Justin Lofton, CEO at SyncSumo


You Will Need to Specify the Origin of Your Audience Data

Facebook will now require advertisers to upload information that specifies where the audience information came from. It’s part of a continued effort by the world’s largest social network to build transparency following last year’s data controversies.

When you upload a new customer file, you will need to specify whether the data came:

  1. Directly from people
  2. From a partner
  3. A combination of the two


Select Data Origin Dropdown


Consumers can now see why a particular ad displayed to them — based on the origin of the audience data.


About This Facebook Ad dialog facebook custom audiences change

New Requirements for Audience Sharing

In addition to requiring the origin of custom audience data, Facebook also requires advertisers to clarify their audience-sharing permissions with other parties.


facebook custom audiences change Shared Audience Responsibilities Agreement


More Privacy and Permission Reminders

Facebook will also begin displaying more reminders to advertisers about their responsibility to protect the privacy of their audiences. All users associated with a Facebook ad account will have to accept the privacy terms of service.


The Takeaway

This latest change to custom audiences uploads follows other significant changes to Facebook’s policies centered around transparency and privacy protection.

This includes unveiling a “clear history” feature at this year’s F8Newsfeed algorithm changes, and more.

Following last year’s controversies around personal data misuse for political purposes, the coming changes were expected for advertisers.

Is this going to affect us being able to offer any of our services like utilizing CRM data for custom audiences?

No, this does not affect our service offering. We are still able to utilize CRM email data; there just won’t be a way to auto-sync audiences. Advertisers will have to upload into Facebook manually.”


facebook audience network

-Sarah Sanchez, Manager, Performance Social at CPC Strategy

Justin Lofton of SyncSumo, a Facebook advertising and audience syncing platform, believes that Facebook’s changes will create a need for businesses to purchase audience data from 3rd party data platforms.

“Changes to custom audiences and the removal of 3rd party targeting data within Facebook will create new demand for 3rd party data to fill this gap. As Facebook continues to regulate existing audience data, there will be a greater need for businesses to acquire 3rd party data to improve their advertising capabilities on Facebook.”


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