One of the most common struggles when expanding your audience on Facebook, typing a certain segment in a detailed targeting section, is that the list of available interests seems limited in a way or even irrelevant to you. That is the moment when you are telling yourself “There have to be more audiences available!” (at least, I did).

I’m here to tell you, yes, there are more of them, and you should definitely have access for every single Facebook Audience Interest available. Are you ready to find the key to “unlock” the full list of Facebook Interests for your Audience Targeting expansion?

What Are Facebook Interests?

Before we begin explaining where to find all available Facebook Interests, we should define what interests actually mean, when speaking about Facebook Advertising.

As Interest mentioned in their definite guide: “Facebook uses many data points to determine the interests of their users. It’s a combination of the Facebook pages users like, the content they engage with on Facebook and even off the platform (the Facebook tracking pixel is embedded on millions of websites). This means you can be assigned an interest because you actually liked or followed an eponymous Facebook page. But you can also get it when you comment on a friend’s post about a certain topic.” 

Now that we understand how the algorithm is grouping the Facebook users into the interest, we can proceed and find out what are their main categories.

The Main Categories of Interests

As mentioned, the main interest categories are:

  • Business and Industry
  • Entertainment
  • Family and Relationships
  • Fitness and Wellness
  • Food and Drink
  • Hobbies and Activities
  • Shopping and Fashion
  • Sports and Outdoors
  • Technology

As you can see, this list of categories is too broad. What you actually need is a specific number of people who share an interest in the same stuff, and in the case of our industry, that would be the people who are sharing an interest in your product or its characteristics.

Facebook Audience Interests List

Let’s assume that you/your client are selling cat toys, and you want to advertise for it on Facebook. You created the account, you have prepared ads, made the budget plan, and now is the time to select your audience. You want to use detailed targeting based on the interests we discussed earlier, but when you type “cat toys” which is the exact thing you need, you will get the following result:

Facebook detailed targeting for "cat toys"

A preview of Facebook detailed targeting for “cat toys”

As you can see, the Ads Manager is showing us the only one available result, and what else you can see is that this audience is way too broad. It may look like “the bigger – the better” approach is the way to go, but this is not a great strategy for everyone, because you want to advertise to the people who have the most chances to buy your product/service.

Next, let’s type just “cat” to check if there are any other interests available.

Facebook Ads Manager showcasing the interest results for "cat"

A preview of Facebook Ads Manager showcasing the interest results for “cat”

As you can see, the Ads Manager will show only up to 25 results based on what you typed. However, it will not always be relevant to what you are searching for. You probably are asking the same question I asked myself and my colleagues: “So, how am I supposed to know what is the exact name of the Facebook Audience Interests I want to target?”

Fortunately, we found a way to access the full list of available audience interests and all of them are different sizes, so we can spend our budgets more efficiently and probably get more conversions, considering we are targeting the right people.

This option is one from the Meta for Developers section, and it is called Graph API Explorer, where you will generate the Access Token which will help us to “unlock” the full list of Facebook Audience Interests.

We will explain the whole process in the following steps.

Graph API Explorer and How to Get Access Token

First of all,  you should Google-search for Facebook/Meta for Developers, once you are on this page you should click “Get Started” or “Log In”. In this step, you will be signing up for a developer’s account, but you don’t need to be a developer to actually use some of these features. 

Next thing, you should proceed to “Creating an App” and select an app type (according to your needs, we can recommend choosing “None” considering it has a combination of permissions we will need for this purpose).

Creating an app by choosing the app type

A preview of creating an app by choosing the app type

Then click next, and then just type the name of the app, add your Facebook/Meta email address and then select a Business Account, if you have one (this is optional), and then click create the app, then confirm your password.

Creating an app by providing the basing information

A preview of creating an app by providing the basing information

What you will see next is Dashboard. As you can see, there are a lot of options to explore, but what you need is actually under the Tools section, so click on it, and then click Graph API Explorer.

Dashboard after the app is created

A preview of dashboard after the app is created

So you should make sure that you selected the proper app, select the User Access Token, and then Generate Access Token.

Generating Access Token via Graph API Explorer

A preview of generating Access Token via Graph API Explorer

You will see the pop-up window, asking you to confirm your password or to continue with your profile.

A preview of Log In pop-up

A preview of Log In pop-up

Now you have your Access Token which has a short expiration time, of only a few hours. You will probably want to have the one that will last longer, so what you need to do is click on the blue icon (number 1 on the photo below), and then Open in Access Token Tool (2).

Time-limited Access Token

A preview of a time-limited Access Token

When a new window opens, click on the Extend Access Token (1), and then copy the Token, as represented in the photo below.

Extended Access Token

A preview of a Extended Access Token

One of the final steps is to open the Facebook Interests Expander tool, which you can find here. Make yourself a copy, open it, and click on the “Creds” tab.

Interest Expander Tool

A preview of Interest Expander Tool

Click on the A1 cell, and paste an extended Access Token you generated before, between = (equals) and “ (the quotation mark), hit ENTER, and your Facebook Interests Expander tool is ready to use!

Facebook Interests Expander Tool – How to Use

As we previously learned, the Ads Manager itself provides a maximum of 25 interests available based on your search query, and those interests are not always relevant to what you need. But with the Facebook Interests Expander tool, you can easily access every single one of the existing interests.

This tool is pretty simple to use. The only thing you need to do is to type the desired query in the yellow field, click any field, and voila – the data is populated!

Interests populated by desired search query

A preview of interests populated by desired search query

Unlike the Ads Manager which showed us 25 interests in total, this tool provided an amazing 102 results. Of course, you can find some irrelevant audience interests here, too, but most of them are pretty good to use. Just copy the name of the interest that is relevant to your needs and paste it into the Ads Manager’s Detailed Targeting browser. Let’s see an example:

Implementation newly discovered interest

A preview of implementation newly discovered interest

 Thank me later!

Our Final Words

Finally, we’ve got to the part where we’ll explain why you should have access to the full list of Facebook Audience Interests. 

As we are familiar with the Digital Marketing industry, and we know that every campaign requires the optimal amount of budget, we want to make sure we are spending it in the most efficient way, as nobody wants to pay for irrelevance. That said, we can have the greatest eye-catching visuals, the perfectly convincing ad copy, the high daily budget, etc, but if we don’t target the right audience, we cannot expect higher ROAS. 

Facebook Interests Expander is a great tool that can help you find and choose the right audience for your business, based on their interests. Make your decision on which one to use from the table, either if it is based on the Audience Size Lower/Upper Bound, Topic or Disambiguation Category which can be found in the top row.

Sometimes it is great to narrow the audience, so you can get the best of it. For example, use the Audience Interest of some brand that only its users know what it represents (like Whiskas, PurePet, Royal Canin, etc), in that way you will show your ads to the most specific people, who are the most likely to convert. 

If you need any assistance with your advertising effort, we can offer you a wide range of digital marketing services


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Sandra Stanojević is a PPC Analyst in the Will Marlow Agency Team who is responsible for analyzing Pay-Per-Click campaigns performance, using analytical skills and tools to optimize outcomes from all PPC activities.

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