What Facebook’s New Direction Means for Marketers and Consumers

 By JP Sherman 

Yesterday at Facebook’s f8 conference Mark Zuckerberg talked about the new direction that Facebook will be taking. The announcements revolve primarily around data portability and security.

First, let me give you a quick explanation of data portability. When you create a Facebook profile, you give your name, gender, email, phone number, location, interests and a host of other data points that fill out your demographic and psychographic profile. Secondly, as you participate in Facebook, someone may leave a link about the new Windows 7 phone that you may like, so you click the “like” button. That interaction is also saved as a part of your personal data.

There are applications that pull all of your status updates and organize them as a tag cloud, showing you what words you post most frequently about; my top word apparently, is “coffee”. This type of information can be used to make you a recipient of highly targeted campaigns from marketers. 

However, in the past, applications could only store your data for 24 hours. The idea was to make sure that third party application developers would have to continually pull your data in order for them to reach you with targeted ads or applications. What’s changed is that now, applications can store your data permanently. As your data updates with a new child, new relationship or a new location, these applications and marketers are able to incorporate that new information into their data and marketing campaigns.

What Does This Mean for Marketers?

While Zuckerman didn’t announce that any significant changes are going to be made to their ad platform, it’s reasonable to assume that their ability to target people will be made much more robust. Secondly, as they develop more pages based upon people's interests, the number of pages that will be available to users will significantly increase, giving your ads a higher inventory to display and be relevant to users.

This is a significant play against Google. With new pages being added, it’s likely that Facebook will start showing up even more frequently in general information searches across all of the search engines. Once this phase goes live and starts seeing some success, you can expect to see much more added to the advertising efforts on Facebook.

If you aren’t already using Facebook ads to target new users, build a community and create brand and product evangelists, let us know. We obsessively monitor the social media marketing landscape and have tailored several social media marketing campaigns to provide results.

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