We’ve known Facebook has been struggling to figure out how to compete in the mobile market. Everyone knows that their mobile interface isn’t as good as it can be and a lot of investors are concerned that there are no ads on the mobile Facebook app. So it’s good to hear (or is it?) that Facebook is launching a new type of mobile advertising that targets customers based on the type of apps they use.
How are they doing this? Through their Facebook Connect feature, this lets users log into millions of websites and apps using their Facebook identity. By tracking use of customer’s visits to apps such as Amazon.com, LinkedIn, Pintrest, and Instagram, the company can display targeted ads based on that data. Facebook has also commented that they might track what people do on those apps, however, it has not been decided.
Privacy concern is definitely an issue whenever it comes to Facebook, just last month millions were upset over the “unannounced” Facebook email switch which caused a lot of headache. Now, with this feature that could potentially monitor your behavior to inundate you with targeted advertisement may create a bit of a fire with consumers.
Although tracking users’ mobile use is nothing new,as companies like Apple and Google track user apps all the time, however their approach to ad targeting is much different from how Facebook plans to target.
On the flip side this new business model for Facebook can be highly profitable for the company that is struggling to get back to their initial public offering price of $38 (currently at $31). It will also assuage investor concerns about Facebook’s lack of advertising on a medium where most of its users are spending their time.
Consumers will be able to view these ads as a news display on their Facebook news Feed. For example unlike before when you would get information about a brand because you “liked” the page and their news would show up on your feed, now when you play a game (i.e. Angry Birds), ads for other games similar to Angry Birds will show up on your news feed without your consent.
People who are concerned about privacy are hoping Facebook will provide ways for users to opt out of the mobile ad targeting. Facebook has declined to comment. I’d like to hear what your thoughts are on the subject. Facebook has been doing a lot lately and it has angered a bunch of people. Are you for or against what Facebook is turning into?