Facebook Rolls Out Optimization Tool, Improves Relevancy Of Publishers' Posts

Facebook is rolling out a new targeting tool to help publishers better reach and understand their in-network audiences.

With the new Audience Optimization tool, the social giant is promising to improve the relevancy of publishers’ posts by pointing out those readers most likely to engage with them.

Leading up to its official launch, Facebook tested the tool with several partners, including The New York Times, MTV, and Turner Broadcasting System’s Bleacher Report.

A preferred audience feature encourages publishers to add interest tags to content, which Facebook will use to match topics with users based on their previously activity and affiliations.

Conversely, an audience restrictions feature gives publishers the option to limit the visibility of certain posts across Facebook’s network.

To make more sense of user behavior, a new audience insights feature promises publishers greater visibility into the performance of their content down to the post level.

“Once a post is published, insights for the preferred audience can help publishers understand how different subsets of people are responding by showing reach and engagement metrics for each interest tag,” Peter Roybal, a product manager at Facebook, explains in a new blog post.

For Facebook, the new offering is part of a broader effort to ingratiate itself with publishers.

Along with its Instant Articles initiative, the company recently debuted a new app that encourages users to subscribe to push notifications from various content providers. No small side project, the new Notify app is launching with more than 70 big-name publishers, including Bloomberg, Comedy Central, CNN and The Weather Channel.

Facebook also recently rolled out Signal -- a tool for sourcing, gathering, and embedding content from its flagship network, as well as Instagram. As part of the effort, Facebook made it easier for journalists to find and use relevant data, including trending topics.

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