John Borkowski, January 19, 2012
At the f8 conference back in September, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the addition of Timeline and Open Graph. These new tools let users tell their story though a newly designed homepage. It also allows users to tell a story through the applications they use. Yesterday, Facebook launched the beginning of a new type of apps that lets the user give a more detailed and precise indication of how they interact on Facebook. Facebook Actions are an enhancement to “like” and “listen” buttons, and lets users use other Action words, for example “want” and “own”.
There has been a release of an additional 60 apps in categories including News, Music, Shopping, and more. The purpose of this is that Zuckerberg wants people to share more about themselves and create a deeper user-experience for the over 800 million active users. What does this mean for marketers and advertisers?
First, marketers and advertisers will have an excellent source of analytics available to them to evaluate the effectiveness of their brand or product. For example, a local coffee shop can see how many people “drank” a cup of coffee there. Over-time, the coffee shop can gather multiple statistics such as geographic and demographic data (including where people are coming from to visit their store).
Targeted ads will increase dramatically and users will be offered products and services that they enjoy. Following the same example, the user may get more coffee-shop and café advertisements since the user “drank” at a particular store. This will also benefit the user as relevant ads will show in their profile due to deeper integration.
There runs the risk that Facebook Actions may raise privacy concerns, as some users may feel they are revealing too much of their personal interests and likes on the social media platform.
For advertisers and marketers, however, this is a dream-come-true. Ads become more targeted, consumers are more engaged, and the end-user has an enhanced experience on Facebook. Everybody wins, right? Everyone except for those concerned about their privacy.