Taking a page from the Google playbook, Facebook is poised to up its game on targeting ads based on user behavior throughout the web.
Let's back up and I'll explain. Way back when, Google first built up mad web traffic stats using its search engine (Facebook has 400 million users now - check!). Then, Google gave out its search engine box to any web site that wanted to embed it within their pages. Lastly, they invited the world to use its advertising network.
The result: Google has a really good idea of just about everywhere you go on the web. I notice the results all the time. For example, my back hurts. Being a hypochondriac, I go to WebMD to get just an enough information to convince myself that I am dying. I surf around reading up on yoga moves to help my back. Then, as I dip into gmail to check messages; I can't help but notice an ad for "Bad Back Remedies" and Gaiam yoga products.
It's like Google has read my mind. Nope! They are just incredibly good at reading over my shoulder as I cruise the web.
Sorry for the long set up. But, Facebook wants to be the other Orwellian advertising juggernaut watching over your other shoulder. It is well on the way. This new advertising system will go even further.
Facebook wants to track users as they visit other sites for the purpose of laser beam accurate targeted ads once they return to their Facebook accounts.
Like Google sprinkled around those search engine boxes, Facebook will sprinkle around "Like" buttons. Here's how it works. Users visit a site. They like what they read or see or watch and hit the "like" button, which goes on your wall back on your site.
Web sites will love it because it drives traffic back their way. Facebook, meantime, is data mining your footprints allover the web to better target ads to you.
So, let's review:
- Web sites love it.
- Facebook loves it.
- Advertisers love it.
Now, about our privacy.