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Facebook Doubles Users of Custom Audiences Advertising Tool

Facebook Inc. has more than doubled the number of advertisers relying on a new tool that lets marketers tailor promotions based on data culled from outside the social-networking site.

The so-called custom audiences feature, introduced in late 2012, lets companies target ads to Facebook members about whom the marketers already have information, such as a person’s e-mail address. The recent growth of the feature, which includes privacy-protection tools, has come since January, Grady Burnett, vice president of global marketing solutions at Facebook, said today in an interview in San Jose, California.

Facebook, owner of the world’s most popular social-networking service, is rolling out more ad tools to better monetize its growing base of more than 1 billion users. In the past year, the company has begun offering mobile ads and opened an advertising exchange that tailors promotions to users based on their browsing history.

“The marketer has a very deep understanding in a lot of cases of their target audience and of their customers,” Burnett said. “It’s actually the ability to more granularly target what you want.”

Separately, the company’s new search service, unveiled in January, shows that users are focusing their queries on people, photos and pages, he said. The new feature seeks to answer search questions based on people’s social connections. Burnett declined to give any specifics on adoption, saying it’s still too soon after the roll-out.

Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, declined 1.1 percent to $27.83 at the close in New York. The shares have fallen 27 percent since the company’s initial public offering price of $38.

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