Marketers can now target the 92 million expats on Facebook

Facebook's ad technology now lets marketers target expats specifically

Facebook's ad technology now lets marketers, like the airline pictured above, target expats specifically.

Facebook's ad technology now lets marketers, like the airline pictured above, target expats specifically.

Facebook has added a new feature to its advertising platform that lets marketers target people living abroad.

Those expats might now receive offers from airline companies trying to sell them plane tickets during a holiday back home, when they might want to go back and visit the folks.

The feature, which Facebook calls expat or nationality-specific targeting, will help it deliver targeted ads to the 92 million expats on Facebook, the company said Tuesday. That's just under 7 percent of Facebook's total user base of 1.39 billion people.

The feature could help Facebook grow its advertising revenue overseas. It's available initially for people from Brazil, Indonesia, China, South Africa and India.

It's already been used by at least one airline with positive results. Etihad Airways, based in the United Arab Emirates, was able to target the 27 million Hindus on Facebook living outside of India before Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. The airline reached 536,000 Indian expats living in the Middle East, leading to 700 bookings, according to Facebook.

The targeting feature is available worldwide in all Facebook ad interfaces, including the API. Facebook said it doesn't share information with advertisers telling them who individual users are.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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