Have an unhappy customer on your hands because you can't tell them their audience size?  Or, are you in panic mode because you don't know if those ads you have running are using your custom audience data? Grab a drink and relax because we not only have the details on what's going on, we have a SOLUTION!

Facebook is at it again! Many of you may have noticed that your custom audiences size says "Not available" or even better "-1".

Everything was fine a couple of days ago, but now it looks like your hosed, right?  Well, I am happy to tell you that is not the case my friend!  In the search for more information, I contacted our Facebook rep and got a few of the finer details.

Apparently, Facebook identified a technical issue with reach estimation for Custom Audiences that could potentially allow misuse of the tool. For the time being, they temporarily removed the ability to see reach estimates for the following Custom Audience types:


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    Custom Audiences from a customer data file (i.e., email list uploads)
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    Offline conversions Custom Audiences
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    Website Custom Audiences that use Advanced Matching
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    Mobile App Custom Audiences that use Advanced Matching

So what now? You will still be able to create new Custom Audiences, and use them for ads targeting and your ad's delivery and reporting should also remain unaffected by this change. Phew!

At the moment there isn't a solution, but there is still a way to check your audience size using Facebook Analytics, and it's more precise than viewing your audience size in your Asset Panel!

If you are new to Facebook Analytics, you can find it under the "Measure & Report" section in the "All Tools" menu. Analytics will show you a series of tables, charts, and graphs for pretty much any metric you're interested in. You can check out your active users, demographics, traffic sources, device usage and even page likes. Whats more, you can use Analytics for a pixel, page or application. On the surface, it will give you the same information that you could obtain using Audience Insights and selecting your custom audience. It also allows you to set up funnels, view your overlap, revenue; as well as, retention and cohorts analysis among others. Plus it has a handy Event Debugging panel to make sure that your pixels are firing correctly.

If your custom audience falls into one of the groups listed above, you can no longer use Audience Insights to check out your audience's demographic data. In my experience Audience Insights will typically allow you to check out page likes and demographics data before it is available in Analytics but if your audience is large enough and old enough you can do the same in both.

When you open Analytics and select your pixel, it will display the data for all of your users. What we really want to know is the size of the custom audience that Facebook is now hiding from us in Assets panel. So how do we do it? Segmentation!

Analytics will allow you to look back 180 days which is the maximum time frame that you can keep someone in a custom audience as well. Perfect!

When you click the "Add a Segment" button, you will have the same conditions available to you when you create a custom audience.

In fact, you can create custom audiences directly from the analytics panel. Now, if your segmented audience is too small, you may not have enough information to display the demographic data, but it will tell you exactly how many unique users are in that audience!

So call your customer and tell them to chill and crack another beverage because all is good in the hood.

If you want to get more insights on how to maximize your Facebook and digital marketing game, Sign Up for Digital Warfare, where we drop some serious knowledge on the regular!

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About the Author

Joseph Longo
Co-Owner of Mission Ready Marketing. My goal is to inspire others to invest in themselves so they can invest in others. I am a constant learner, reader and early adopter of anything technologically driven. I believe in full transparency, extreme ownership, and massive imperfect action.