Facebook (News - Alert) is constantly facing criticism regarding its privacy policies and how personal data is being used. People willingly share a great deal of detailed personal information about themselves on the site, making it a marketing monster. Up until now, the marketing efforts have been contained within the site, but that is all about to change.
According to Matthew Ingram of GigaOm, Facebook will now start using all of the data that it has spent years collecting about a particular user’s likes and dislikes. Marketers everywhere will be collectively rejoicing at this news, knowing that the potential to target ads toward people is just around the corner.
While this will do nothing to quiet the privacy concerns, the potential for stock growth should keep the grumbling shareholders happy. How happy? An external ad network has the potential to boost the company’s revenue from $5 billion per year to $10 billion per year, according to early estimates.
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Ingram noted that placing ads on Instagram might be the first step for the advertising network, since Facebook acquired it earlier this year. From there, the potential is limitless. It is likely that the network will eventually work similar to Google (News - Alert) Adwords, where various bloggers and websites can opt to have the ads displayed on their site. Whether or not Facebook’s ad network will go toe-to-toe with Google AdWords is still yet to be seen, but the very idea is promising for Facebook and marketers.
There will, undoubtedly, be people who are “outraged” at how their personal information is being used—the same ones who were posting that phony message copyrighting their Timeline a few days ago because, you know, their posts are just so meaningful—but one has to wonder: is anyone really surprised about this? Everyone knew this was coming.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman