Facebook has changed how it displays estimated audience reach for ads. It has switched from specific reach estimates to general potential reach.
When you set up your Facebook ad now, the social network will show its controversial Potential Reach option. It will show a specific range of people who will see your ads. And this depends on your chosen targeting criteria.
“In order to make the presentation of those pre-campaign estimates consistent, we are changing Potential Reach and interests into ranges instead of specific numbers, which is how Estimated Daily Results are already presented. Ranges are also in line with how pre-campaign estimates are presented on other platforms across the advertising industry. As part of this update, we will also be changing the name of Potential Reach to Estimated Audience Size,” says Facebook.
The new Estimated Audience display is broader. For instance, the potential reach above covers a potential difference of 10 million users. Not all estimates will be that comprehensive. Yet, the premise is similar.
Now, Facebook will show you a general reach estimate, rather than specific numbers, from your targeting criteria.
The new display is for Potential Reach, Estimated Daily Results, and for interest categories to estimate the number of people who have a certain interest.
Facebook is updating its numbers but kept mum on the reasons. It hints of an clarification in the Help Center overview of its Estimated Audience Size calculation.
“Estimated audience size is not a proxy for monthly or daily active users on Facebook, or engagement. (Facebook’s quarterly earnings announcements provide this information.) Estimates aren’t designed to match population, census estimates or other sources,” explains the social network.
Facebook usage stats often come from these estimates. It serves as a substitute for region specific numbers or insight on people interested in a particular topic, or those falling into a specific demographic category.
“In cases where a person has connected their Facebook and Instagram accounts in Accounts Center, their Facebook and Instagram accounts will be counted collectively as a single account for ads estimation purposes. If a person has not connected their Facebook and Instagram accounts in Accounts Center, their accounts will be counted as multiple accounts for ads estimation purposes,” says Facebook.
Read more about Facebook’s Estimated Audience Size here.