Facebook Moves From Specific Audience Projections by Updating Ad Reach Estimates

Ben Givon
3 min readOct 10, 2021


If you’re a Facebook advertiser, you should take a pen and paper and take note! At the end of September, Facebook has made it official that changes are being made in how the app lays out audience reach for ads. The switch is moving away from specific reach estimates and moving toward general potential reach categories.

If you’d go right now to set up a Facebook ad, the app will show a “Potential Reach” feature with precise numbers of possibly reached consumers. Your campaign is being “scanned” based on the targeting criteria of your selection.

Ben Givon is here to search through the new changes and help Facebook advertising experts get a hold of the facts. The article below shows everything you need to know about the new feature specifics made by Facebook.

Facebook’s Announcement

The company explains that it’s trying to make pre-campaign estimates more consistent by changing the interests and Potential Reach into ranges. The current presentation of Estimated Daily results is depicted in specific numbers.

Ranges are also presented so that they are in line with other platforms’ pre-campaign estimates across the ad industry. The name Potential Reach is also getting a makeover — it’s becoming Estimated Audience Size.

What It Means

The newly added Estimated Audience has a broader display, with figures showing, for example, an average potential number with a discrepancy of 10 million users. This is just an example, though, and not all estimates will be that large. The point is the same; you’ll be given a generalized reach estimate, and all that based on what your targeting criteria are.

This new display will be used for Estimated Daily Results, Potential Reach, and interests, which cover the number of users who may have a specific interest.

Why It Happened

As usual, Facebook is not being precise with the explanation of why they’re doing so. However, a tiny hint can be spotted in the explanation given in the change’s Help Center overview explanation.

Estimated audience size cannot represent monthly and daily active users on FB or their engagement. This information is given to us via Facebook and its quarterly reports. Insight on people’s interests and regional numbers are usually drawn from these reports.

We can only assume that Facebook is trying to avoid any future misinterpretation by limiting the usage of these numbers that are constantly get incorrectly linked to data points. Numbers could also be influenced by Apple and the recent in-app data tracking. Despite the fact that most of the said numbers do come from Facebook, they could not be affected by the change. Nonetheless, whatever may be the case, it’s a good thing to consider as a Facebook advertiser.

What’s Interesting

The thing that caught our attention is the process, or how potential reach is estimated. Facebook gives us a clear example. If a person has their Facebook and Instagram accounts linked, these accounts will be counted as a whole and not separately. In the case where FB and IG accounts are not connected in the Accounts center, ads estimation will view and count them as multiple accounts.

Lastly, this can interest Facebook advertisers, as it can significantly affect ad reach data. Ultimately, this may be one of the reasons why Facebook is making the change and why it’s moving away from specific figures and leaning towards a more generalized estimation.



Ben Givon

Ben Givon is the key writer and blogger for various internet sites. A recognised expert in the fields of online marketing and branding.