UPDATE: Apparently there are workarounds.
Facebook has long held a tight grip on what data advertisers can and cannot access. Now, it’s pulling some of the reins away from social media vendors as it shutters its Audience Insight API.
This week, Facebook quietly shut down its research tool, which allowed social vendors including Spredfast to build billion-dollar businesses by tapping into the social network’s firehose of data and crunch vast amounts of user information for marketers.
Audience Insights digs up aggregated demographic, interest and lifestyle data, including age, education levels, job titles, hobbies, family size, income and location. Importantly, Audience Insights is not part of Facebook’s significantly bigger Marketing API that hundreds of ad-tech companies like Adobe and Hootsuite use to manage budgets, create audience profiles and run campaigns. Now that the API is closing, the social vendors—and all companies—are being transferred over to another version of the Audience Insights program, where Facebook supplies its data directly to marketers instead of going through a middleman.
What does it mean for you? You will no longer be able to verify seller claims without accessing insights yourself or using a third party middleman (like SWAPD). In my personal opinion, it’s not a big deal. However, I do feel for the bigger companies who heavily relied on access to that data.
You can read more about this API change here: http://www.adweek.com/digital/facebook-is-shutting-down-its-api-that-marketers-lean-on-for-research/