Do you feel like Facebook is listening in on your conversations?
You have a conversation on the phone to your mum about Engelbert Humperdinck tribute acts (haven’t we all at some stage?).
Humming “Please, release me, let me go…” you pop the kettle on, teabag in mug, choccie digestives ready for dunking, reach for your phone and have a quick mooch on Facebook.
After the obligatory photos of friends in hot places (how can she afford that?) lo-and-behold, there’s an advert for old Humpers!!!
Is Facebook listening to your phone calls? Surely that’s the only answer…. or is it?
So, what’s really happening?
As unsexy as it might sound, Facebook is simply ‘profiling’ you and your network of friends, family and colleagues.
You’ve heard that McDonalds isn’t in the business of burgers. They make more money out of property than beef patties.
Similarly, Facebook isn’t in the business of Social Media: Facebook is in the business of data.
Facebook is in the business of data
Facebook is now the biggest data owner in the world, tracking what we do on Facebook, online, and even offline via the data they buy (and pair up) from companies such as Acxiom. It bundles us up with lots of other people knowing the sorts of products we’re interested in, what we’re likely to buy, how we shop, where we want to go on holiday, and so on. It knows that we’ll hang out with similar people and recommend products we love. If I love that lamp, there’s a good chance my friends will like that lamp.
It goes much, much deeper than this, but you get the picture.
Facebook advertising is incredibly sophisticated. So much so that they’ve had to put restrictions in place to stop our customers feeling stalked…. how do you know that about me?
May I have a sprinkle of salt on my hat?
So, have I convinced you? If I had a hat I’d offer to eat it if I’m wrong. I reserve the right to ask for some salt if and when that happens!
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