Facebook rolls out ad targeting by zip code

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Within the next week, all Facebook advertisers will be able to target U.S. users by ZIP code, the company announced today.

The news comes to us by way of the Republican political communications firm Engage, but Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes just confirmed it to us. (Not before the blog of Politico’s Ben Smith and ClickZ’s Kate Kaye had picked it up, however. So — credit where it is due.)

The folks at Engage seem to think this is a big deal. Here’s one reason why: Congressional districts are not sliced up by city or county, two other criteria that advertisers can use when users declare their location to Facebook. Adding ZIP code targeting gives another level of granularity to advertisers who want to reach folks in a given district who aren’t wearing any other obvious bull’s-eye, such as having “liked” a particular politician or issue. This could be a big help to people working on 2012 campaigns, making it easier for them to spend advertising dollars more efficiently. Of course, congressional districts don’t always map to ZIP codes, either — but it makes trying to reach people in a small area that much cheaper.

Noyes says Facebook is still perfecting the feature, but it is already on its way to everyone who targets U.S. Facebook users. It’ll be available both for ad products and sponsored stories.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.