This is Audience Fragmentation

You could create one ad set that targets all potential customers. Meta will help get you the most optimized actions within your budget.

But instead, you create several ad sets that segment your audience. It could be different ad sets by age group, gender, or detailed targeting.

This fragmentation of your audience makes optimization less effective. Instead of getting you the most results regardless of these labels, the algorithm is forced to try and find results within each segment.

You’re also splitting up your budget between ad sets. This generates less volume for each ad set, fewer learning opportunities for the algorithm, and the potential for issues exiting the learning phase.

What Meta Wants

Meta wants you to consolidate your audience and your budget.

If you’re splitting your audience by demographic group for reporting purposes, this is completely unnecessary. You can use breakdowns for that.


If you’re splitting up your audience by detailed targeting, these audiences are expanding if you use Advantage+ Audience or set a performance goal of conversions, link clicks, or landing page views.

Advantage Detailed Targeting

There are always exceptions, but avoid fragmenting your audience.

Automated Rules

One option is to use an Automated Rule to manage this. You can create a rule that monitors for Audience Fragmentation and either automatically combines impacted ad sets when fragmentation is a problem or alerts you so that you can decide whether to act.

Automated Rule Audience Fragmentation