Is Facebook Giving Brands Access to Your Full Social Graph?
Facebook has often had an interesting relationship with the privacy of its users. In its defense, this is typical for any business that relies on selling the data users provide about themselves to advertisers in order to make money.
It's often a careful balancing act between acting in the needs of the user vs the needs of the advertiser. It seems however that Facebook are going to be throwing a bone to their advertisers in the very near future.
Traditionally if you like a brand on Facebook, that brand has a reasonably limited knowledge of you. They don't for instance have full access to your profile, and the Page Insights tool doesn't reveal much more about you than demographic information such as your age, location and gender (in aggregated form).
That could be about to change however. AdWeek reveal that Facebook will soon allow some brands to see what other things their fans like, direct from their Page Insights tool.
The new feature, dubbed the brand affinity tool, will allow brands to see what music their fans like, or their favorite TV shows. This new brand affinity tool would theoretically enable a company like Macy’s see the most popular TV shows among its Facebook fans—which could inform media planning.
Adam Lehman, COO and general manager at data management platform Lotame, said the tool would be a great example of harnessing quality social data because of its first-party nature. And in this case, brands would be able to act on that audience data for more than ad targeting on a broader strategic level.
Thus far Facebook have declined to comment on this new feature, and its implications for the privacy of its users. Marketers however are salivating over it. Jeff Widman of Facebook marketing company PageLever said:
“If you could see what other pages your fans have liked, you could make your posts more engaging by writing about those other pages. It's also an easy way to identify potential sponsorship or Facebook co-promotion opportunities. If you're trying to grow your fan base, you can run Facebook ads at people who are not yet fans of your page, but already fans of related pages. We’ve had multiple customers request such a feature.”