Now You Can Target Facebook Ads by Recency

Becky Doles

Facebook already offers advertisers a plethora of options for targeting ads to users. Now, Facebook is offering select advertisers the option to target ads based on the recency of actions users take in Open Graph apps and on Facebook directly.

Facebook has been beta testing “action spec targeting” for the past year, but previously advertisers were unable to set a window shorter than 14 days for time-range based targeting. Facebook recently updated “action spec targeting” to allow for the setting of a window as short as one day. This change gives advertisers the ability to reach users at the most relevant time for driving conversions based on recent actions. For example, advertisers can now target app users a few days after they install their app or view a certain tab of their Facebook page.

One of the most interesting features of “action spec targeting” is the ability to target users who have not taken an action. For example, advertisers can now target app users who have played a game, but not made an in-app purchase within a set time period. Also interesting is that advertisers can reach friends of users who have taken a particular action within the last 14 days, as well as target users who have taken actions taken within competitors’ apps.

Right now this kind of targeting isn’t widely available, as it’s still in beta and limited to advertisers working with Preferred Marketing Developers. However, this feature will likely roll out to all advertisers over time, which will help brands and businesses drive conversions that are based on user behavior that is time-sensitive. As most marketers know, capturing the interest of users at just the right moment is absolutely critical.

Performance marketers should be especially excited about this feature, as it helps drive specific mobile app conversions by allowing advertisers to target users based on their in-app actions. Marketers who want to use Facebook ads to drive in-app engagement, run a re-engagement campaign to target non-active users, or even acquire users who also use competitor apps will benefit from this new feature.

If you’re an advertiser, would you target users based on recency of activity? Let us know your thoughts about this new feature in the comments.

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.