Facebook Audience Size NOT AVAILABLE (-1)

If you used your Facebook Ads account recently, you might have noticed some very strange things. Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with your ads, or with your pixel, it’s just a technical problem that Facebook is having.

Apparently, it started on December 22, and Facebook is still looking for a proper fix when this article has been published.

We’ve been in contact with Facebook Support, and that’s what we know so far.

Estimate for your audiences are unavailable

When you create an ad targeting your existing Custom Audiences, you might see a message saying that estimates are not available.

Custom Audiences Size Not Available or -1

It possible that you won’t see the size of the audience anymore, regardless the fact that they are ready.

When this happens

This can affect several types of audiences:

  • Website and mobile app Custom Audiences if using advanced matching 
  • Custom Audiences from a customer file
  • Offline conversions Custom Audiences

Website or mobile app Custom Audiences that do not include customer data and engagement Custom Audiences are unaffected by this update.

What happens with your ads?

Everything will work fine, and ads delivery and reporting will remain unaffected by this change.

You will still be able to create Custom Audiences, as well as ads using any type of Custom Audiences on Facebook. It’s only the reach estimate that’s missing.

What if you’re a PixelYourSite user?

If you use PixelYourSite Pro, chances are that you’ll be affected by this bug. We do send Advanced Matching data everytime we can (for logged in users, or for the Purchase event, after a transaction), so it’s possible that your Custom Audiences will display size “Not available” for now.

Nothing to worry though, since everything else works fine.

When will be fixed?

According to Facebook, they are currently investigating solutions to restore these reach estimates in their interfaces.

16 thoughts on “Facebook Audience Size NOT AVAILABLE (-1)

  1. Hey Christian is there any update from Facebook regarding this error? I’ve spoken to 3 different support agents, and each one has blown me off saying they have ‘escalated my enquiry to the appropriate team’.

    I don’t really trust launching any new campaigns until its fixed so if you hear anything please let us know 🙂

    • All I can say is that new and old campaigns are working fine, I can’t see any errors whatsoever. As for when they’ll fix it, we just have to wait and see.

  2. Hi Christian, thank you for this. I am new to PixelYourSite, I installed on Dec 23rd or 24th. At that time, inside my Business Manager, I created new pixels to use with PYS, removing the main pixel I had. Suddenly I noticed my audience counts as “Unavailable.”

    Until this article, I thought the “unavailable” was a result of incorrect setup in PYS…but now it seem like bad timing.

    However, I have noticed one strange thing. These “unavailable” audience counts also show a value of “-1” in some places. And when trying to use them with Adespresso tonight after reading your article, I got this error:
    (“Reach estimate for your targeting configuration is not available due to Facebook policies based on Advertising Principles”)
    A link directed me to https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/11/our-advertising-principles/

    So it seems like the issue is related to the removal of certain types of targeting from their API etc.

    Has any of what I just mentioned also happened to you?
    Either the “-1” audience count or the “Advertising Principles” warning?
    My targeting was simply pixeled website traffic, no special configurations other than that – so the message was strange.
    I pushed the ads through anyway, will know soon if they are showing to my segments.

    • It’s still there, probably a more serious issue than expected. I wonder if is not related to the new EU GDPR due to take effect starting from May 25, 2018.

  3. This issue has been going on for over a month now. It is pretty amazing that a multibillion dollar company like FB can’t figure out how to fix it’s own product. I refuse to advertise when I have no idea of the audience that I am marketing to.

  4. Thanks for sharing this informative article it carry many relevant points to resolve the given issues which i was facing, do keep up the good work mate .

  5. Thank you for writing about this issue. I meticulously gleaned my customer database and re-formatted everything to a T-to Facebook’s rules. Seeing a -1 audience size over and over created an avalanche of work for me troubleshooting the problem. I guess it did not help that this was my very first attempt at creating a Facebook custom audience. Bad timing I guess. Thanks for literally saving me hours more research time ‘solving’ my own work. I agree with another writer that this is a crippling problem for advertisers to deal with. Every day Facebook cannot solve this issue is another day of driving new ad revenue over to their chief competitor Google I guess. Many thanks again.

  6. I have been facing the same issue. I tried changing the targeting audience age and the estimated audience size appeared. I don’t know what made the difference but it works for me. I only change the age in some small numbers. You guys should try it.

  7. I’m adding custom audiences from a customer file. Are there some fields that are preventing this from giving an audience size? Like age, DOB, etc?

  8. I’ve got the same issue but it’s even more worse because I wanted to build a lookalike audience based on this custom audience. Now trying to create the lookalike audience, I get the error message: “(#2654) Source Audience too small: Please choose a target group with minimum 100 people in the same country.” (This is my translation from german into english). I really need to create this lookalike audience but it’s not possible. Does anybody have an idea, what I could do?

    • I think that in reality, your Custom Audience is still too small. In my experience, Lookalikes are not affected by the problem.

Leave a Comment