Facebook recently announced that they will be bringing back their reach estimate feature after removing it previously back in March of 2018.

Researchers at Northwestern University had previously discovered what they stated was a “unique bug” in the feature that they claimed could have permitted potential advertisers to infer multiple targeting attributes of individuals in audiences. Because of this, they determined the feature was a threat to the overall privacy of many Facebook users. This ultimately led to Facebook representatives announcing that they would be removing the reach estimates feature, and that all types of custom audiences would be affected as a result.

However, on July 2, the social media giant announced in a statement that the feature would be reinstated. The statement read as follows:

“Following the discovery of a bug that would have allowed anyone to infer attributes of people in custom audiences, Facebook had removed reach estimates for custom audiences. Now, after fixing the bug, Facebook is bringing back the feature. Since suspending this feature last year, we’ve been working with researchers to improve the security of our custom audiences reach estimate feature. We focused on three key areas to curb potential misuse: privacy, protection and new usage restrictions. With these updates now in place, we are reinstating custom audience reach estimates. We continue to be grateful to the researchers who identified the bug and for working with us to fix it.”

As part of the new restrictions involving the feature, Facebook has taken the step of including rate limits involving the total number of audiences or API calls that all new accounts will actually be able to have. Advertisers are not expected to be impacted by these limits. However, it should be able to prevent any potential misuse as a result.

Facebook now has a bug bounty program, which is designed to reward individuals for reporting cases of data abuse committed by app developers. At their discretion, Facebook offers monetary bounties if it meets various requirements including keeping to their disclosure policy and reporting it in the correct manner.

Many advertisers will be absolutely thrilled that Facebook’s reach estimates feature has officially been reinstated. The reach estimate is an extremely useful tool because of how easily they can manage the following factors while creating ads:

  • Campaign reach estimates
  • Budgets
  • Biddings

This feature allows advertisers razor precision precision while planning campaigns, and makes it easier to test the success of multiple campaigns against each other.

Many people had resorted to third-party apps to provide overall reach estimation due to the Facebook reach estimate being suspended. In doing so, they may have risked their own privacy as a result even though Facebook’s reach estimation had been taken down over privacy concerns. Researchers and advertisers alike remain hopeful that when it comes to marketing, things will become much better and easier thanks to Facebook reinstating the reach estimates feature.

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