Facebook to Sell Advertisers Info on Trending Topics

by Matt Klassen on March 13, 2015

There is a lot advertisers can learn about you from Facebook: from habits to purchases, from interests to community involvement, and all of that information is useful for how to better sell you products and services. Of course this has morphed Facebook from a social network people can use to connect with others and share ideas into an unabashed data mine, a place where people are encouraged to freely offer up personal data that can be packaged and sold to advertisers.

To that end, Facebook is now making it even easier for advertisers to follow what is popular among their potential customers, as the social network has signed a deal with a company called DataSift that will allow advertisers and other third-party companies to track what is currently trending on Facebook, and what users among different demographics are currently talking about.

Simply put, Facebook has found a way to delve deeply into your participation on its social network and on the Internet in general: what you do, what you say, and where you visit on the Internet. In fact, the firm is ever-evolving its ability to mine as much information about you as possible, for as I’ve said before, you’re not a user in Facebook’s ever-watching eyes, you’re its product.

There’s no question that understanding trending topics will help companies better connect with their customers, as a clothing company could get a better understanding of what items customers are currently talking about, or a tech company could see what products are connecting the most with users. No one is arguing about the effectiveness of such a strategy, it’s really just a matter of whether such actions on the social network are justified and, most of all, ethical.

But this latest move to help advertisers tracking trends on Facebook is simply one of a long line of tools the social network has implemented to help advertisers and companies better connect with Facebook users. The social network has recently offered increased analytical data to help companies study the effectiveness of their advertising, as well as tools to help businesses send ads to users whether they’re on the network or on outside websites.

My disgust aside for a moment, don’t think that Facebook is the only company doing this. As CNET writer Ian Sherr notes, “Numerous analytics companies already parse through data coming from Twitter, in hopes of learning what its users are saying. But Facebook has been measured in the type of access it gives, partially out of concern for users’ privacy.”

As expected Facebook has promised that the information being mined and sent to DataSift is “aggregated, anonymous and can’t be used for specific ad targeting,” but that’s hollow succor to a Facebook user base that is increasingly feeling used and abused. Sure companies want to know who is talking about what, but has anyone stopped to think that maybe we all would like the opportunity to talk about things without Big Brother always listening? What am I saying!? Of course they haven’t.

Did you like this post ? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: