Audience Expansion

Audience Expansion is a simple, effective way to scale your campaign reach. By systematically leveraging the unique connections & intersections between people across X, Audience Expansion enables you to extend your targeting to include people who are similar to your core audience.


How it works

Audience Expansion leverages a user-based look-alike model that uses machine-learning to assign a “similarity score” to people who have similar characteristics to the targeted audience. These people are then bucketed into groups who closely, somewhat closely, or loosely resemble the targeted audience.

Advertisers are able to extend their campaign’s reach to include these similar people by enabling Audience Expansion and choosing from 3 levels of expansion:

  • Defined - reach people that most closely match your targeted audience
  • Expanded - reach people that closely or somewhat match your targeted audience. 
    • Includes people in the “Defined” bucket
  • Broad - reach people that closely, somewhat, or loosely match your targeted audience.
    • Includes people in the “Defined” & “Expanded” buckets

Based on the level of expansion chosen, the campaign’s targeting will automatically be extended to include people who meet the similarity criteria. 


Using Audience Expansion

Within supported objective types, Audience Expansion can be found within the “Additional options” drop-down menu of the campaign form. Follow these simple steps to enable this feature:

  1. Navigate to the targeting section of the campaign form.
  2. Input your targeting criteria.
    • Advertisers should use at least one of the following targeting types in order for Audience Expansion to be effective: Custom Audiences, Keywords, Follower LAL, Interests, Movies & TV, Events, Conversation Topics, Post Engager, and/or Your Followers.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the section and click to open the “Additional options” drop-down menu.
  4. Check the box next to “Expand your audience (optional)”.
  5. Select your desired level of expansion: Defined, Expanded, or Broad.
  6. Finish campaign setup & launch!

Audience size estimate not changing after enabling Audience Expansion? Find out why in our FAQ below.



Audience Expansion helps advertisers in the following ways: 

  • Scale - extend your reach to include people who are similar to your target audience
  • Audience discovery - find people who are similar but outside of your core targeting 
  • Simplification - reduce the burden of inputting comprehensive targeting to find similar people to your core targeting

Frequently asked questions

Audience Expansion can be used within the following objectives: Reach, Engagements, Video views, Pre-roll views, Followers, and App re-engagements.

Within App installs and Website traffic campaigns, we recommend using Automated Targeting

At this time, the audience estimate / forecaster module does not support Audience Expansion, and it is expected that the audience size will not change. This is a known display limitation, and it does not mean that:

  • Audience Expansion is not working

  • Audience Expansion is not impacting / increasing the potential audience size

More information on targeting types that generate audience estimates here.

Using the criteria that you’ve selected to define your target audience, we create a seed audience. Audience Expansion then uses this seed audience to find look-alikes - in other words, people who have similar traits or behave similarly on X. 

These look-alikes are then grouped based on their similarity to your targeted audience and filtered in or out based on the level of expansion you’ve chosen. 

Finally, we apply any demographic targeting, device targeting, and exclusions to determine who is eligible to be served an ad from the given campaign. 

Across all 3 levels of expansion, the following criteria will always be respected: Gender, Age, Location, Language, OS, OS Version, Device, and Exclusions (Keywords, Custom Audiences, Do Not Reach Lists).

Since Audience Expansion fully respects these targeting criteria, scale be constrained if targeting is too restrictive (e.g. selecting a granular location, a narrow age range, and an exclusion Custom Audience).

For best results, opt for broader targeting in these fields.

Yes - Excluded Audiences, Excluded Keywords, and Do Not Reach Lists are fully respected. 

Enabling Audience Expansion means that you are extending your campaign’s reach beyond the specifically designated targeting criteria. Other than the fully respected criteria mentioned above, it is expected for impression to serve outside of your targeting selections.

Ready to get started?