Frequently asked questions

Find all the answers to your questions about audience profiling and discover all our tips to get started smoothly.

General Questions

What is a Demographic criterion (Demographics)?

Demographic criteria define a group of persons for whom the algorithms have identified a common socio-demographic characteristic. Facebook collects data which appear in the declarative part as well as geolocalization data of member profiles and can consequently establish relevant socio-demographic connections. Some examples of behavior criteria: work employer, job title, Industries, parental status, relationship status, educational level, etc.
(For more information: )

What is a behavioral criterion (behaviors)?

Behavior criteria define a group of persons for which the algorithms have identified a common behavior. These common behaviors are identified by Facebook thanks to factual information principally tied to connectivity and to the data collected directly from applications published by the Facebook group and or the web browser used. Some examples of behavioral criteria: frequent travelers, 4G connection, commuters, Console gamers, Engaged shoppers, Expats, Facebook Payments, Facebook access (mobile/desktop).(For more information: )

What is an interest criterion (interest)?

An interest criterion corresponds to defining a group of persons for whom the Facebook algorithms have identified a common center of interest. There are millions of audiences pre-built by Facebook based on common interests and these audiences intersect as a function of the identification of similarities. These could be brands, media, sports, food preferences, personalities, major social topics, ideologies, etc. (For more information: )

What is a reference or comparison audience (benchmark audience)?

A reference audience is the comparison audience which will enable us to highlight the differentiating characteristics of the target audience. (See Methodology for more information). This audience generally represents the total population of a country in which there is exclusion of the target audience. The reference can be just like the target audience, modified as a function of the objective of the profiling project (e.g.: a comparison of two competing brands. In this case, the target audience being a brand is to be compared to a reference audience which is the competing brand).

What is a profiling project?

A profiling project corresponds with the analysis of a target audience which is compared to a reference audience in order to highlight the similarities and differences between these two audiences. The profiling enables us to set up the target audience and to understand what distinguishes it from the reference audience thanks to the alignment of the data collected on each of the audiences.

What is a target audience?

A profiling project corresponds with the analysis of a target audience which is compared to a reference audience in order to highlight the similarities and differences between these two audiences. The profiling enables us to set up the target audience and to understand what distinguishes it from the reference audience thanks to the alignment of the data collected on each of the audiences.

Data sources and methodology

What is SOPRISM’s methodology for generating audiences?

For each profiling project, we have pre-selected more than 7,000 socio-demographic and interest criteria (the SOPRISM teams perform permanent enrichment) which are compared to the target audience, between the target audience and the comparison audience to determine the criteria with which the target audience is compared to the comparison audience with the most affinity compared to the comparison audience. The SOPRISM solution has organized the criteria in large thematic families to permit a macro- and micro-transverse reading of the elements which are over/underrepresented and thus quickly highlight the unique points of the target audience.

How much time does it take for an audience profile to be available?

An audience profiling is available in just a few minutes. When you launch your profiling project, you will obtain the results quickly. This wait time varies between 5 and 20 minutes for project profiles created starting from existing criteria in the Facebook database, and 60 and 120 minutes for personalized audiences originating from your Facebook ad account.

What is the timing of the data considered in an audience profiling?

There is no actual timeframe. The data is regularly updated by Facebook and reflects the real time activity of members. This means that the results of the same profiling performed at two different times can present variations.

Our observations have shown us that there are significant variations in results for the same profiling project generated with a three month interval at a minimum. In any case, in the context of specific events such as global events ( Olympic games, Festivals, etc.), the  variations of results can be significant despite a time interval of less than 3 months.

Does SOPRISM respect the GDPR norms and directives?

Yes, SOPRISM respects the GDPR norms and directives. SOPRISM uses the available aggregated and anonymized data thanks to the Facebook API, which means that no personal information is collected or processed in the audience analysis framework. The Belgian data protection authority performed an audit of the platform and has confirmed that SOPRISM does not process data which is considered to be sensitive.
For more information:

What is Facebook’s ability to understand its active users?

According to a study conducted by researchers from Cambridge and Stanford universities, Facebook knows its users better than their own families do, starting from the moment when they click more than 150 times on the “like” buttons of content present in the Facebook ecosystem. This study has shown that Facebook has the ability to define the personality and interests of a person with great precision starting from certain level of activity of a user on its social networks.

What type of informations does Facebook process to understand an audience ?

Facebook makes an inventory of the information declared by the member : profile, e-mail address, phone numbers, shared interests when building the user account, membership in a community, registration with groups, participation in events, etc.


Facebook collects the information related to the member: IP Adress, geolocalization data, browser, device model, battery level, etc.


Facebook improves the understanding of its members through interactions in its social networks & apps :

    • Visible interactions which are performed in the user’s FB/Insta account(Likes / Comments / Shares, Posts, etc.)
    • Invisible interactions are also taken into account (Ad clicks, Video views, Search engine requests, Marketplace, etc.)
    • Content consumption, such as: if one spends a lot of time looking at cooking videos the FB algorithms will identify a potential interest in cooking. (Time spent on each content, News feed, average speed scroll, etc. )

The FB algorithms take into account different types of behavior on the web:

    • Activities and time spent on pages and websites that have tracking pixels;
    • Activities behind Facebook connect;
    • Activities on pages that have a Facebook plug-in (“LIke” button, etc.);
    • Activities in the Facebook ad network, etc.
How does Facebook determine knowledge of audiences ?

The knowledge of audiences built by Facebook is defined based on declarative, behavioral, and social demographic data. This data is collected across all applications which belong to Facebook such as Instagram, Messenger, etc. The tracking pixels installed on websites of brands and organizations which have a Facebook ad account are also taken into account when building these audiences. The data collected by Facebook goes beyond only the limits of use of social networks, in fact it comes from global digital activity which permits a fairly complete understanding of a target audience, with its specifics and its differences.

What differentiates Facebook’s ad tools from the SOPRISM solution?

SOPRISM is not a tool developed to execute ad campaigns but rather an audience analysis tool enabling brands and organizations to discover unique insights regarding their strategic targets in an anonymous manner, gathering thousands of socio-demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data points.
>>> The results generated by the SOPRISM solution are nevertheless very useful in refining advertising targeting in the Facebook ad tool.
The results generated by the SOPRISM platform can be used to refine the advertising targeting, or to create partnerships with brands or events, etc.

Where does the SOPRISM come from?

The data you can find on SOPRISM comes from the ad management tool developed by Facebook which aggregates the data of several networks with proprietary applications such as Instagram, Messenger, etc. Overall, with more than 2.7 billion active users throughout the world, SOPRISM offers complete access to the largest database based on declarative, behavioral, and socio-demographic information.

Creation of a project

Why is the existence of an interest criterion or its size not related to the information which is presented on a Facebook fan page?

The interest criteria are built by Facebook’s algorithms based on the activity of an audience over the past 30 days and on the global use of users, their interactions, their online activity (see: How Facebook determines knowledge of audiences). An audience defined by an interest criterion is thus distinguished by members of a Facebook page for several reasons:

  • the timing of an interest of an audience is based on the last 30 days
    • the notion of interest is assumed by Facebook’s algorithms but not declared through likes on a page,
  • the notion of interest is built starting from a global activity on Facebook’s looks but also through online activity.

There is thus not necessarily a correspondence between a Facebook fan page and a criterion of interest. Certains fan pages involving a large number of fans may not have an equivalent in terms of interest criteria and vice versa.

What are the interest criteria which exist in the SOPRISM tool?

All the criteria which exist in the Facebook ad tool are available to build your target or comparison audiences and thus can be used for your profiling project. Following the same logic, if the interest criteria do not exist in the Facebook ad tool, we cannot use them in SOPRISM. This is independent of our will, as Facebook defines if a brand or a personality is considered or not as a criterion of interest in its ad tool based on their proprietary algorithms.

What type of audience can be analyzed with SOPRISM?

There are 3 types of audiences which can be analyzed via the SOPRISM profiling solution. These types of audiences correspond to those available in the Facebook ad tool.

  • The audiences one can build starting from their engagement with your company (people engaged with your content on social networks, visitors to the specific page on your website, clients or prospects for whom you have an email address or mobile phone number) → The PERSONALIZED AUDIENCES in the Facebook ad tool
  • “fans” of a Facebook page or an Instagram account starting from the moment when we have admin rights to these pages. This type of audience is interesting to profile when the occurrence of interests is not variable over time (e.g.: the fan audience of a soccer club). → Facebook page FANS
  • audiences which have been qualified by Facebook algorithms starting from points of interest, behavior, or sociodemographic parameters. There are several million prebuilt audiences in the Facebook database which can be used in an independent manner or combined to understand the specifics of the target audiences of brands (e.g.: brands, centers of interest, social issues, media, personalities, etc.)


Facebook account

Why must I connect my personal FB to my SOPRISM account?

Here it is a question of establishing a bridge between your SOPRISM account and your Facebook ad account in order for the platform to be able to access the information necessary for the profiling project via the Facebook API. SOPRISM does not in any case have access to your personal and private information. This link just enables you to be identified as a person having access to the ad account, this being indispensable to obtaining the data required for the profiling of a target audience.

Must I connect my personal FB account to my SOPRISM account?

Yes, to perform an audience profiling you must connect your personal Facebook account to an ad account that will in turn be connected to SOPRISM. In order to be able to establish the connection, you simply have to click on your initials on the lower left of the project page in your SOPRISM account. This will lead you directly to the Facebook connection page where you can connect to your Facebook ad account

Comment: SOPRISM does not access your personal data and information in any way. This is done only to establish a connection between your ad account and the SOPRISM account.

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