Meta Ads Glossary

This is a glossary of Facebook advertising and marketing terms. When these terms come up throughout your reading on this site, helpful tooltips will be made available with quick definitions. Click the links below to get additional details on each term.

  • 2-Second Continuous Video Play - A 2-second continuous video play is when someone views a video for 2+ seconds continuously, usually with at least 50% of the video in view.
  • 3-Second Video Play - A 3-second video play is recorded when someone views a video for 3 seconds or views 97% of a video that is less than 3 seconds long.
  • Account Spending Limit - An Account Spending Limit is the lifetime limit on the amount your ad account can spend across all of the campaigns that you're running. This is a limit set by the advertiser within the Payment Settings. You can edit, remove, or reset your Account Spending Limit at any time.
  • Ad Account Creation Limit - Every Business Manager has an Ad Account Creation Limit. It typically starts at 1 and builds with history of running ads and paying your bills to Meta. Your limit can be found on the Business Info page of your Business Manager. To increase your limit more rapidly, contact a Meta account rep.
  • Ad Set - An ad set is a Facebook ads grouping where settings like targeting, scheduling, optimization, and placement are determined.
  • Advantage Campaign Budget - Advantage Campaign Budget (formerly Campaign Budget Optimization) automatically manages your Facebook campaign budget across ad sets to get you the overall best results.
  • Advantage Custom Audience - When turned on, Meta has the ability to expand targeting beyond your selected custom audience. The location, age, gender, and exclusions that you input will continue to be used as hard constraints.
  • Advantage Detailed Targeting - When turned on, Meta can expand your audience to reach people beyond the Detailed Targeting (interests and behaviors) that you selected, but only if that expansion is expected to lead to better results. Location, age, gender, and exclusions are hard constraints, and the expanded audience will continue to follow those rules.
  • Advantage Lookalike - When turned on, Meta can expand your audience if it believes you can get better results by doing so. That expansion will be achieved by increasing the percentage of your lookalike audience, using the original custom audience for training.
  • Advantage+ App Campaign - Advantage+ App Campaigns automate and streamline app install campaigns while using machine learning to deliver the best results. The advertiser will have fewer steps and customization options, putting more faith in the algorithm. Meta suggests use this when scaling your app installs is a primary objective.
  • Advantage+ Audience - Meta's AI-powered targeting option. Meta will attempt to find your audience for you based on pixel activity, conversion history, and ad engagement. You can also provide targeting suggestions that Meta will initially prioritize before going broader.
  • Advantage+ Catalog Ads - Previously known as Dynamic Ads. By providing a catalog of your products that includes details like product name, price, description, and image, Meta can dynamically show the right ad to the right person at the right time. This is far more efficient for e-commerce brands with hundreds or thousands of products, rather than creating individual ads for each product.
  • Advantage+ Creative - When turned on, Advantage+ Creative can make adjustments to your ad on a per-user basis to get you the best results. Adjustments include text (swapping headline and description), image brightness, turning images into a video, applying a template, adding music for Stories, and more.
  • Advantage+ Creative for Catalog - When turned on, Meta can dynamically make adjustments to creative elements related to your Advantage+ Catalog Ads.
  • Advantage+ International Catalog Ads - Advantage+ International Catalog Ads are a variation of Advantage+ Catalog Ads for cases in which you’ve uploaded country and language feeds to your catalog. Meta will automatically show people relevant items from your catalog with the correct information for their country or language.
  • Advantage+ Placements - Formerly known as Automatic Placements. When you utilize Advantage+ Placements, Meta will automatically optimize which placements are used and when to get you the most results for your budget.
  • Advantage+ Shopping Campaign - Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns offer a streamlined way of creating a Sales campaign that leverages machine learning to get the best results. Presets are locked in and can't be changed. The advertiser provides custom audiences at the account level that define current customers and can then determine a budget cap for how much of the budget is spent on current customers.
  • Advertising Specifications - Facebook has advertising specifications that apply to copy (character count) and creative (dimensions, aspect ratio, format) by placement.
  • Aggregated Event Measurement - Aggregated Event Measurement is Meta's protocol for handling tracking opt-outs from iOS devices. AEM initially required advertisers to configure and rank eight events and verify their website, but those requirements were removed in 2023. Aggregated Event Measurement still exists, but Meta handles it on the back-end to comply with Apple requirements on privacy.
  • App Activity Custom Audience - An app activity custom audience is an audience used for ad targeting of people who launched your app or took specific actions while using it.
  • Attribution - Attribution is how Meta gives credit to an ad for a conversion.
  • Attribution Setting - Attribution is how Meta gives credit to an ad for a conversion. Your Attribution Setting determines how your ad will be delivered and the reporting attribution window. The default Attribution Setting is 7-day click and 1-day view, which means that anyone who converts within 7 days of clicking or 1 day of viewing your ad will be counted as a conversion.
  • Auction - Facebook uses an ad auction to determine the best ad to show to a person at a given point in time. The winner of the auction is the ad with the highest total value, based on bid, estimated action rates, and ad quality.
  • Auction Overlap - Auction Overlap can happen when you have two ad sets running at the same time, targeting similar audiences. When their ads are about to enter the auction, Meta first chooses the ad with the highest total value. That ad will be the one that enters into the auction. The other won't be considered. Meta does this to prevent you from bidding against yourself. When there's too much Auction Overlap, it can result in higher costs or under delivery.
  • Audience - This is the group of people who can potentially see your ads. You help influence this by adjusting age, gender, location, detailed targeting (interests and behaviors), custom audiences, and more.
  • Audience Controls - Advertisers aren't able to exclude locations or customize age targeting from directly within the ad set of an Advantage+ Shopping Campaign. But Audience Controls within the Ad Account Settings allow the ability to make these adjustments account-wide for all Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns.
  • Audience Fragmentation - Audience Fragmentation is the potential result of running multiple ad sets that target different groups of people but are optimized in the same way to promote similar ad creative. When it becomes problematic, you should combine ad sets.
  • Audience Insights - Audience Insights is a tool that helps you learn more about an audience compared to the general Facebook population.
  • Audience Network - Audience Network is a network of mobile apps that have been approved to monetize their apps with ads. This is how you can show your Meta ads to people while they are away from the Meta family of apps. Audience Network and associated groups are among your placement selection options in the ad set.
  • Automated Rules - Automated Rules allow advertisers to set automated processes (pausing, adjusting budget, or adjusting bid) based on performance.
  • Beneficiary and Payer - Meta made adjustments in 2023 for all ads targeting people in the European Union due to regulatory requirements. The advertiser must indicate who benefits (the Beneficiary) and pays for (the Payer) the ad to remain compliant.
  • Bid Cap - Bid Cap is one of Facebook’s bid strategy options, which guides Meta on how to bid in the ad auction. A Bid Cap sets a maximum bid across auctions, rather than allow them to bid dynamically.
  • Bid Strategy - When you enter an ad into the auction, Meta will bid for you. But in some cases, it may benefit you to adjust the bidding strategy to get better results. Options include Highest Volume, Cost Per Result Goal, Highest Value, ROAS Goal, and Bid Cap.
  • Breakdown - Breakdown is a way to get insights into your ad performance related to time, delivery, action, or dynamic creative element.
  • Broad Targeting - In most cases, mention of Broad Targeting refers to the removal of all potential targeting filters: No custom audiences, lookalike audiences, or detailed targeting. Instead, rely only on location and letting the algorithm do the work.
  • Budget - A budget is an amount you're willing to spend on your Facebook campaigns or ad sets on a daily or lifetime basis.
  • Business Manager - Every organization should have their own Business Manager to organize their assets (pages, ad accounts, pixels, and more), and then provide appropriate access to those assets to partners.
  • Buying Type - There are two buying type options when determining how you will pay for a Facebook ads campaign: Auction and Reach and Frequency.
  • Call-to-Action - A call-to-action is a button or link on your ad that suggests the action you want your audience to take. Examples: "Learn More" or "Sign Up."
  • Campaign - The campaign is the foundation of your Facebook ad. This is where you'll set an advertising objective, which defines what you want your ad to achieve.
  • Campaign Objective - When you create a campaign, one of the first things you'll do is select an objective. The campaign objective is your ultimate goal. Your selection will impact options, including optimization and delivery. Options include Awareness, Traffic, Engagement, Leads, App Promotion, and Sales.
  • Campaign Spending Limit - A Campaign Spending Limit is set by the advertiser in the campaign. It is a hard cap on how much will be spent during the life of the campaign. This is different from a lifetime budget because it will not impact the way that your ads are delivered. You'll typically use daily budgets and your campaign will stop delivering once you hit that limit.
  • Carousel - A carousel allows you to display two or more scrollable images or videos in the same ad, with the ability to link each to a different URL.
  • Catalog Custom Audiences - If you utilize a product catalog, you can create audiences of people based on their engagement with your products that can be used for targeting and exclusions in your ad set.
  • Click Attribution - Click Attribution is one way Meta gives credit to an ad for a conversion. Credit will be given to an ad when someone clicks your ad within a specified number of days of clicking. Click Attribution options include 1-day click, 7-day click, and 28-day click, the last being only available for reporting.
  • Clicks (All) - The Clicks (All) metric includes all clicks on your Facebook ad (link clicks, clicks on media, post reactions, comments, shares, and more).
  • Compare Attribution Settings - Compare Attribution Settings is a feature within Ads Manager reporting that allows you to view how many conversions happened within each attribution window, regardless of the Attribution Setting used for optimization. For example, columns can be added to your report for 28-day click, 7-day click, 1-day click, and 1-day view to see how conversions are distributed across them.
  • Content Views - Content Views measure the number of view content events credited to your ads. View Content is a standard event that works in concert with the Meta pixel, app SDK, offline event set, or conversions API. This event is typically used to count when a website visitor loads a product landing page.
  • Conversions - A conversion is counted whenever a website visitor performs an action that fires a standard event, custom event, or custom conversion. Examples of conversions include purchases, leads, content views, add to cart, and registrations.
  • Conversions API - Conversions API provides a direct connection between your conversion results and Meta to be used for ad set optimization and reporting. Examples include both web and offline events. By using a Conversions API, you can send Meta a more complete picture of conversion activity to help improve your results.
  • Cost Per Result Goal - When using the Highest Volume bid strategy, advertisers can choose to set a Cost Per Result Goal. This allows to establish how much you're willing to pay for the optimized action. It's not a hard cap, but a goal the algorithm will consider.
  • CPC - Facebook reports on CPC (All) and CPC (Link Click). The first refers to all clicks and the second on all internal and outbound links.
  • CPM - CPM measures the cost per 1,000 impressions. It's a good metric to evaluate competition level and costs to reach your audience.
  • Creative Hub - Creative Hub allows advertisers to craft drafts of ads that they can share with clients prior to going live. Once approved, drafts can be imported into ads in Ads Manager.
  • Custom Conversion - Custom conversions let you create rules for events or URLs so that you can better track and optimize for specific actions with Facebook ads.
  • Custom Events - Conversion events tracked by the pixel, app SDK, or API that are outside of standard events. These tend to be created to fit the publisher's needs when a pre-defined standard event will not.
  • Custom Metric - Advertisers can create custom metrics that combine existing metrics with a mathematical formula. That formula can be based on Meta's current ads metrics, standard events, custom events, and custom conversions.
  • Customer List Custom Audience - A customer list custom audience is created by uploading a customer list that Facebook matches with users so you can target them with ads.
  • Daily Spending Limit - A Daily Spending Limit is a daily cap imposed by Meta on your spend that can apply across your entire business account, ad account, campaign, page, or app.
  • Daily Unique Reach - Daily Unique Reach Facebook ads optimization allows you to limit the number of times you reach your audience to no more than once per day.
  • Engaged-View Attribution - Engaged-View Attribution is one of the ways Meta gives credit to an ad for a conversion. In this case, a user needs to view a skippable video for at least 10 seconds (or 97% if less than 10 seconds) and convert within a day to give that ad credit.
  • Estimated Audience Size - Estimated Audience Size estimates how many Accounts Center Accounts (previously defined as users) are eligible for targeting given the settings in your ad set.
  • Event Custom Audience - You can create an Event custom audience to target those who have engaged with your Facebook event with an ad.
  • Event Responses - The number of people who responded ‘Interested’ or ‘Going’ to your Facebook event and credited to your ads.
  • Event Setup Tool - If you have the Facebook pixel installed on your website, you can add standard events without any code using the Event Setup Tool.
  • Facebook Page Custom Audience - Facebook page custom audiences allow you to create an audience of people who interacted with your page to be used in ad targeting.
  • Facebook Pixel - The Facebook pixel helps advertisers track events that occur on their website and reach people who performed those events with ads.
  • Frequency - Calculated as (Impressions/Reach), Frequency is a Facebook ads metric that measures the average number of times users have seen your ad.
  • Frequency Capping - Frequency capping allows you to limit the number of times your audience sees your ad during a given window of time.
  • Highest Value Bid Strategy - The default bid strategy when using the Purchases objective and "Maximize value of conversions" performance goal. Instead of trying to get you the most conversions within your budget, Meta's focus will be on getting you the highest purchase value.
  • Highest Volume Bid Strategy - The default bid strategy for most objectives. Meta will attempt to get you the highest volume of optimized actions within your budget. No concern will be given to value, ROAS, or cost per action.
  • Impressions - Impressions are the number of times your ads were displayed to your target audience. Impressions aren’t counted if it is detected they came from bots.
  • Instagram Account Custom Audience - An Instagram account custom audience allows you to target people who engaged with your Instagram business account with Facebook ads.
  • Landing Page View - Landing Page View is a Facebook ads metric that represents when people land on your destination URL after clicking a link in your ad.
  • Lead Form Custom Audience - Lead form custom audiences allow you to create audiences of people who engaged with your Facebook lead ad forms to be used in ad targeting.
  • Lifetime Budget - Advertisers have the option of setting a daily or lifetime budget. A lifetime budget lets you set a spending limit for the lifetime of an ad set. Meta will attempt to evenly spread the amount you spend across the dates that you've selected.
  • Link Click - The link click metric measures all clicks on links that drive users to properties on and off of Facebook.
  • Location Targeting - Default location targeting will include anyone living in or recently in your home country. You can target and exclude locations by country, state, region, city, zip code, and more. In 2023, Meta removed options to target people only living in, traveling in, or recently in a location.
  • Lookalike Audience - Lookalike audiences allow advertisers to reach people who are similar to an audience of people already close to you. Lookalike audiences are based on custom Audiences, which tend to include your current customers or people who have engaged with your business.
  • Multi-Advertiser Ads - Advertisers can opt-in to Multi-Advertiser Ads when creating an ad. When checked, their product can appear alongside other similar products when a user has shown purchase intent by engaging with another product.
  • Name Template - A name template allows advertisers to automatically generate a naming convention for campaigns, ad sets, and ads based on campaign settings.
  • Outbound Clicks - Outbound clicks measure the number of clicks on ads that take people to properties away from Facebook.
  • Page Engagement - The total number of actions users took on your Facebook Page and posts that were attributed to your ads. Page engagement can include liking your Page, reacting to a post, checking in to your location, clicking a link, and more.
  • Performance Goal - The Performance Goal is chosen within the ad set and determines optimization and delivery. How you optimize impacts who sees your ad. Meta will show your ad to people most likely to perform your desired action.
  • Pixel Event Parameters - Parameters can be included when tracking standard and custom events with the Meta pixel, allowing you to provide details of an event.
  • Pixel Events - Pixel events allow you to track specific actions on your website that can be used for reporting, targeting, and optimization.
  • Placement - A placement is a location where your ad is shown. Examples include Facebook’s mobile Feed, Messenger, Instagram feed, Audience Network, right-hand column, and more.
  • Post Engagement - Post engagements include all of the actions that people took on your Facebook ad post. Examples include: Post Shares Post Reactions Post Saves Post Comment Page Likes Post Interactions 3-Seconds Video Plays Photo Views Link Clicks
  • Reach - Reach measures the number of Accounts Center Accounts (formerly users) that saw your ads at least once. You can have one account reached with multiple impressions.
  • Reach Optimization - To access Reach optimization, use the Awareness objective and "Maximize reach of ads" performance goal. Reach optimization allows you to show your Facebook ads to the maximum number of people while using a frequency cap.
  • Reservation Buying Type - An alternative to Auction as a method to pay for your ads, Reservation replaced Reach and Frequency. It allows advertisers to lock in a fixed cost for greater predictability.
  • ROAS Goal - When utilizing the Sales objective, "Maximize value of conversions," and Highest Value bid type, you can set a ROAS Goal. Meta will then attempt to spend your budget with a focus on maintaining your desired ROAS.
  • Saved Audience - A saved audience allows a Facebook advertiser to save often-used targeting settings to easily use later.
  • Scaling - Scaling is the process of increasing your budget or focus to get more results from an effective campaign or ad set. Advertisers often speak of vertical scaling (increasing your budget) or horizontal scaling (increasing your targeting audience) to achieve these results.
  • Special Ad Category - There are legal restrictions related to targeting of people when running ads in the categories of Credit; Employment; Housing; or Social Issues, Elections, and Politics. Advertisers are required to select the appropriate Special Ad Category in the campaign when applicable, which will limit target options to keep their ad compliant.
  • Split Testing - Split testing (or A/B testing) allows you to test changes in Facebook variables like ad creative, audience, or placement to determine which approach performs best.
  • Tailored Campaigns - Tailored Campaigns provide a streamlined approach to campaign creation, locking in defaults that can't be customized (like optimization, bidding, and placements). One example is Tailored Leads Campaigns.
  • ThruPlays - The number of times your video was played for at least 15 seconds or to completion.
  • Video Engagement Custom Audience - You can create an audience of people who viewed your video on Facebook or Instagram and target or exclude this audience in ads.
  • View Attribution - View Attribution is one of the ways Meta gives credit to an ad for a conversion. The default Attribution Setting is 7-day click and 1-day view, meaning that conversions will be attributed for anyone who converted within 7 days of clicking or 1 day of viewing (without clicking) your ad.
  • Website Custom Audience - A website custom audience matches people who visit your website with people on Facebook. You can then create ads to show to that audience.
  • Website Custom Audience from Your Events - Website custom audiences from your events allow you to target people based on the specific actions and conversions performed on your website.