Is Pottery Barn Stalking Me Through Facebook?

Jacob got engaged last weekend. Yay! Mysteriously, before the wedding plans could even begin, his fiancÈe received an e-mail from Pottery Barn inviting her to start a wedding registry. Except she never signed up with them, or told any other retailer that she was engaged. What she did do was…change her Facebook status.

I got engaged last weekend. My fiancÈe got an email from Pottery Barn this morning congratulating us on our engagement. How on earth did they know we got engaged? I thought maybe a friend signed us up for emails. I know you can sign up for a registry on their site, but I can’t find any way of sending someone else Pottery Barn emails. Maybe Pottery Barn is stalking us on Facebook and saw my fiancÈe’s status…

Unfortunately, the Pottery Barn registry FAQ does not include the question “How the hell did you know that I got engaged?”

I wrote Jacob back and asked whether the future Mrs. Jacob had recently registered with TheKnot.com or a similar site. She had not. She did register with them a few years ago, but never added anything about her engagement. So what’s going on here?

UPDATE: It turns out that the fiancÈe’s Facebook profile is 100% friends-only. Marketers could not have gleaned her new relationship status from the public Internet.

(Photo: RockaWolf)

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  1. Canino says:

    …the future Mrs. Jacob had recently registered with TheKnot.com or a similar site. She had not. She did register with them a few years ago, but never added anything about her engagement.

    Danger Will Robinson!

    • K-Bo says:

      @Canino: They offer resources that can be useful for bridesmaids and other members of the wedding party. I used them a lot when I was a bridesmaid for checklists of my duties, and to look at and save bridesmaid dresses, since the bride asked for our input on our dresses.

  2. Auto-Erotic_GitEmSteveDave-ation says:

    Is this any worse than a company following me on Twitter for merely mentioning them in a Tweet? It’s really freaky when I mention to someone that Charter has a twitter to get THEIR problem, and twitter responds to me asking to solve the problem. I think I’ve only followed one company back, and that was Lodge, and they make awesome cast iron cookware, so they can do no wrong in my book. :)

    • Laura Northrup says:

      @Auto-Erotic_GitEmSteveDave-ation: Some companies follow me just for mentioning their area of expertise. Like, I mention the Buffalo Sabres or knitting or online poker, bam, new followers. They must have bots that do this.

      • captadam says:

        @Laura Northrup: I work in a college’s PR office. We’re still testing the waters, so to speak, of an institutional presence on twitter. One of the ground rules for us: the institution shouldn’t follow people. I’ll admit, this new world is a little weird.

        • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

          @captadam: Interesting; we’re using Twitter as part of our social media strategy and are actively advising clients to follow certain folks (key editors, for example). Seems to be working okay for them, not so much for me. I’m getting a ton of followers, some of ‘em not so welcome (such as porno peddlers).

      • World'sFastest_GitEmSteveDave says:

        @Laura Northrup: Wow, I wonder how many other people like to play poker while knitting cozies for their collection of swords from upstate NY State. They have bots for it? I did get a shock when 92TribecaY followed me on twitter after I posted I was enjoying a PBR there during the panel discussion. :)

        @MostlyHarmless: What about picts of THEMSELVES in adorable frog suits?

        @Juliekins: You do realize I had to actually see if kuhnootervalves.com was a real website, right? It isn’t, and I’m out of free domain name codes :(

        @Tamar Weinberg: Yeah, after seeing that tweet, it is a little off.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @Auto-Erotic_GitEmSteveDave-ation: I find this slightly stalkery, but got yelled at by a twitter rep for a company for saying in an unrelated conversation that I found it a little stalkery. So now I find it double-stalkery AND a little scary, what with the (virtual) yelling.

      I know they’re just googling and using bots and so forth, but the contacts that follow those “finds” up aren’t always appropriate to the situation (I’ve had it happen a few times). Like, maybe instead of CALLING ME AT HOME ON AN UNLISTED NUMBER in response to an exasperated blog post, gas utility, you could post in the comments of my complaining blog post and say, “We’d like to resolve this, please call us at ….” (And then the person who called was talking about all the people we knew in common and I was like, “Holy shit, super-stalker, you’re making me want to cancel my gas service and just freeze to death you’re freaking me out so much.”)

    • theblackdog says:

      @Auto-Erotic_GitEmSteveDave-ation: One of my friends joked that my appendix removal surgery was really to remove an alien baby, and now some wacko UFO club is following both of us on Twitter.

    • Juliekins says:

      @Auto-Erotic_GitEmSteveDave-ation: I see a big difference under the following conditions: If your Twitter feed is public and you tweet about your problem with the kuhnooter valve you just bought, and kuhnootervalves.com follows you, then deal. The information was public.

      If your Facebook profile is private and simply changing your relationship status gets you spammed by a store that offers wedding registries…well, something strange is afoot at the Circle K.

    • Tamar Weinberg says:

      @Auto-Erotic_GitEmSteveDave-ation: “Is this any worse than a company following me on Twitter for merely mentioning them in a Tweet?”

      Actually, I appreciate that. If I say I have a problem with CompanyA and CompanyA’s rep says “how can I help?” I’m satisfied that they’re listening.

      What I personally have a problem with, though, is people pitching to me based on the context of my tweets when I do not express any interest in doing any such business. Case in point: I gave birth to a baby boy less than 3 weeks ago and tweeted about how excited I was with my newborn. Some stupid baby couture company decided to pitch their services to me. I’m not interested, and if anything, I certainly won’t be doing business with them now. (I might have considered doing business with them if their gesture was more altruistic: perhaps if they sent me a nice gift instead of throwing their unwanted marketing material in my face when I’m trying to celebrate among friends.)

      IMO, it’s wrong to push the marketing material in your face without getting to know you first on these social media channels. That’s what this company did. That’s what a lot of people are doing. I’m not entirely sure how Pottery Barn found out about the engagement but I bet it wasn’t as stalkerish as some (Jacob and fiancee) suspect.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @Tamar Weinberg: every time i tweet about the challenges with buying a house, a new real estate agent or mortgage service follows me. i ignore them until they start offering services. that’s what ‘block follower’ is for!!!

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @Tamar Weinberg: “IMO, it’s wrong to push the marketing material in your face without getting to know you first on these social media channels. “

        Yes, that’s my issue. The way they contact you is often over-familiar and/or over-intrusive. That can be very creepy!

  3. kaceetheconsumer says:

    This is why I will not join Facebook no matter how many of my friends keep bugging me to do it. There are too many stories like this. It’s pretty clearly a data mining site masquerading as social networking.

    • leastcmplicated says:

      @kaceetheconsumer: i think you’re a bit paranoid. I’ve been a member of facebook for a couple yrs and i’ve never gotten an unsolicited email. I think the OP/consumerist is jumping to conclusions

      • kaceetheconsumer says:

        @leastcmplicated: If this was the first time I’d seen a story like this, that’d be one thing. But check the history:

        [consumerist.com]

        This sort of thing seems to happen a lot, and it makes one wonder how many unreported incidents there have been. And the way they keep jerking around their TOS is downright creepy.

      • Hooray4Zoidberg says:

        @leastcmplicated: It may be a bit paranoid, but I’m with the OP.

        Aside from the fact that just don’t care which one of my friends is “just chillin” or “opening up a box of thin mints”. Marketing agencies spent billions over the last decade to try and get the kind of information being spewed all over the place for free on twitter/facebook etc.

        While most of them are probably legit, and won’t use this information maliciously. There are enough nefarious ones out there (this is where most spyware comes from) that I wouldn’t trust to even know my name let alone the type of products I purchase and whatever other personally identifiable information they can mine.

        • alexawesome says:

          @Hooray4Zoidberg: Paranoid or not, this really comes down to the information you’re putting out there and allowing to be seen. I am in NO WAY suggesting that there isn’t something seriously messed up IF Pottery Barn found out this info through Facebook. However, if this person’s profile and contact details are readily available to anyone, there’s your first problem right there. How did they contact her in the first place unless her status and contact info was available to anyone?

          FB is a great service provided you know how to use it. But letting the world see things that we normally keep private (photos of family and friends, work and education history, intimate details of our lives and relationship statuses) is just asking for trouble.

          I do not think that this is the fault of the user in this situation, nor do I think that it’s the fault of users in general. It’s just really important to take a careful look at what kind of data you’re disclosing. You DO have control over it, and just joining facebook to keep up with friends from school is not going to automatically mean you’re giving full access to your personal life. You put up what you want the world to know.

          Just understand that everything posted online is automatically public. You can set privacy controls, but just proceed under the assumption that things can go awry. You, facebook, or someone else you’re friends with, can make a mistake and your private details can be made public. If you aren’t 100% sure that you want your mom, boss, strangers or friends seeing stuff you’re posting under your full name, don’t post it.

    • Papercutninja says:

      @kaceetheconsumer: Ok. So don’t join.

    • captadam says:

      @kaceetheconsumer: That it is. Otherwise, it wouldn’t exist–servers are expensive.

    • Clumber says:

      @kaceetheconsumer:
      Team Not Joining!
      I get begging pleading requests from several ppl at least bi-weekly or so, but just not that interested in the minutia of even my own life, and much less GiveADamn about someone I graduated from High School with and have MAYBE exchanged the occasional Holiday Mass-Letter with. If I had wanted to know all about you, you’d have been aware of that years ago. I can’t even keep my pathetic little website updated, no way am I going to be a tweaker.. errr.. tweeter.

      This is just another little {Nelson} HAH HAH! {/Nelson} moment for me.

      Real life is way more fun, and dammit – the dogs simply won’t tolerate being ignored. The computer? Yeah, it can handle it.

  4. BigFoot_Pete says:

    How could PB know if your information is kept private between you and your friends? Oh, because you have a PUBLIC profile? And it’s weird to you that someone might try to capitalize on your personal info you publish? SHOCKING.

    • pb5000 says:

      @BigFoot_Pete: My thoughts exactly, don’t put it out there and then be surprised when someone finds it.

    • dohtem says:

      @BigFoot_Pete: Stop blaming the victim. Profiles are not public per se. It depends on your privacy settings, but most profiles are only viewable by people you accept as friends and applications you install on your wall.

      If this is neither, the Pottery Barn (and Facebook) owes her an explanation. Advertises should not be able to capitalize on that info.

  5. Cocotte says:

    I get the same thing with mentioning my blackberry or eee pc or whatnot. Doesn’t bother me really, I’m not obliged to follow them or see their tweets if I don’t want to.

  6. XTC46 says:

    the OP obviously wanted people to know they were engaged or she wouldnt have posted it ON A PUBLIC WEBSITE.

    Im so sick of people getting pissed off at sites like facebook becasue the information they posted ON A PUBLIC WEBSITE got out.

    If you have info you dont want somone knowing, dont publish it to the world.

    • William Brinkman says:

      @xtc46 – thinksmarter on twitter: I would subscribe to your newsletter.

    • katstermonster says:

      @xtc46 – thinksmarter on twitter: Unless someone has their profile set to be public, the information posted therein IS NOT PUBLIC. Even if it is, the related email address is often NOT PUBLIC. I’d like more information about the privacy settings she had going before I blame the OP. That’s just my…you know…common sense, talking.

      • HiPwr says:

        @katstermonster: I assume that anything I post about myself on the World Wide Web can be found and looked at by anyone so inclined. I thought this was rather obvious to anyone that has been paying attention to the news for the last five years.

        • katstermonster says:

          @HiPwr: I agree with your point, but if either (a) Facebook shared information the OP had marked as private (against their own TOS!), or (b) PB bypassed privacy measures to get said information, we’re talking about something ILLEGAL.

          And regardless…it’s creepy. The fact that a company was looking at the right information at the right time is more than a little skeevy.

          • supercereal says:

            @katstermonster: If Jacob’s fiance is anything like 99% of Facebook users, she had some applications installed to her profile. Those abide by their own TOS, and all of them allow third parties full access to all of your Facebook info to use as they wish.

    • mwahaha says:

      @xtc46 – thinksmarter on twitter: Clearly it can’t be that big an issue to the OP because she announced her plans on Consumerist as well.

  7. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Loooove the photo.

    Also, I never had anything like this happen to me, but I kept the highest privacy option on my FB profile and the only thing I did was change my status and upload a few photos.

  8. JohnDeere says:

    should have stuck with myspace. tom is nowhere near as nosey.

  9. William Brinkman says:

    Smart company. Good marketing and partnership. I’m impressed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    i got engaged this weekend, changed it on facebook, and haven’t heard from pottery barn.
    i’d guess you either need to up those privacy settings, or someone signed you up…

    side note: i’m sad my targeted ads haven’t been as awesome as some of my engaged friends. they’ve totally gotten “worried you’ll be fat on your wedding day?” ads.

  11. katstermonster says:

    Echoing the comments above, can we get more information on what privacy setting’s the OP’s fiancee had on her facebook? If she had it set entirely public…well, I’m a little creeped out by random PB employees surfing facebook for engaged couples, but it would be legal. If not, I’m not liking it.

  12. silversilver says:

    I’ve been in a relationship for 5 years, on Facebook for 3+ and my three side ads nearly always include at least one for engagement rings. I always wonder if they know I’m in a long-term relationship.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @silversilver: Just like it registers when you change your relationship status, I’m sure it registers when you haven’t in a long time.

  13. captadam says:

    Soooo … we’re surprised that facebook is being used for marketing purposes?

  14. rick_in_texas says:

    Could maybe one of her/his friends have registered them on PB?

  15. WisconsinDadof2 says:

    More likely, Pottery Barn pays for the right to mine the data for just such an occasion. The terms of service state: “We share your information with third parties only in limited circumstances where we believe such sharing is 1) reasonably necessary to offer the service, 2) legally required or, 3) permitted by you.”

    Public Profile = Permitted use.

  16. liz.lemonade says:

    The OP doesn’t say that he’s angry or nervous that Pottery Barn got the information. From the way I read it, he mostly seems surprised (and a bit amused) that someone at PB is apparently trawling through Facebook just to find people who have recently changed their relationship status to “Engaged”.

  17. John Henschen says:

    How many people on here (who use Facebook) have various applications on Facebook that have asked for permission to look at their files and friends etc.? Well every one of those applications have been given the right to view your status, because you gave it to them. One of those likely trolls the status of people who have allowed them in and then gets paid to spam you with pertinent emails based on your status, comments, etc. Moral is, the next time someone wants you to take some stupid quiz or “challenges” you to some game or bogus IQ test, DON’T ACCEPT IT! These are the wee-beasties that are getting you.

    • Odaecom says:

      @John Henschen:
      Yep, and there is more, as I though I was ok since I don’t use any of the apps.
      #3 “When a friend of yours visits an application or authorizes it, the information that the application can access includes your friend’s friend list and information about the people on that list.”

    • the_wiggle says:

      @John Henschen: so go to your application settings & set as tight as you like.

      it’s not rocket science people.

  18. ElizabethD says:

    I’m just here for the Star Wars. (again)

    Also to say that I love Facebook – so many reunions with so many friends! – and can’t get too worked up about this. Others have pointed out that anyone who expects anonymity on the Web is naive.

    • HogwartsAlum says:

      @ElizabethD:

      Isn’t that picture cute? :)

      I’m still not on Facebook. All that whooee with their TOS made me nervous. I’ll get to it eventually, I’m sure.

      Hell, I just now got a cell phone on Saturday. My first one. *blush*

  19. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    This happens with my twitfic account all the time. One tweet mentioned that the Emperor’s koi ponds had an influx of turtles, due to annoying peasants being turned into turtles by the author (a wizard), and boom, two koi enthusiasts and one landscaper specializing in koi ponds follow it. I leave them there, since it pads my follower amount.

  20. Sam Wille says:

    I get how people could blame the OP on this one. Facebook, Twitter, Myspace – all very public sites. Throwing caution to the wind and common sense out the window of your speeding car as you barrel down the information superhighway at break-neck speeds is ill advised.

    I’d rather be almost completely hidden from people that may want to connect with me on Facebook than to be exposed for the world to see. I think there is just an assumption by a segment of users that Facebook is “safe” and the baddies can’t get to us. Every now and then it doesn’t hurt to change your password (for any site) and re-check your privacy settings to make sure you aren’t visible to more people than you want to be, that you aren’t electing to get marketing e-mails or invites from associated 3rd parties.

  21. Dani0209 says:

    When you change your status, your ads change. As an advertiser, you select the demographics for where your ads appear, including ages, sex, and status. When I got engaged, all sorts of wedding vendors started popping up. More and more companies are realizing the potential of Facebook to hit their markets. Crate and Barrel does this as well. I don’t know if they can physically pull off your email address, but I know they can track who has viewed their ads and visited their pages. And if you register @ The Knot or weddingchannel.com, then your information does get shared with numerous vendors.

    • kerry says:

      @Dani0209: Yeah, all I the ads I see on facebook now are for local wedding stuff. First it was wedding stuff in chicago, then when i moved to seattle it switched to wedding stuff in seattle. Photographers, venues, dress shops, etc. I hate it and I want it to stop, but if I changed my relationship status it would cause a nightmare of wall posts asking about it. Pfffffffff.
      Also, theknot.com is pure evil. I had an account there for about a week before I realized they had nothing to offer me, and have been getting the same 4 postcards from vendors in the mail ever since, even though I deleted my account ages ago (and, yes, it’s a pain in the ass to delete a theknot.com account).

    • Anonymous says:

      @Dani0209: It’s really creepy how they can do that. My profile is 100% friends only too, but the ads change based on your relationship status, and even your interests. I’m a big snowboarder so most of mine are for snowboarding, and I’ve had a male friend tell me that when he changed his relationship status to “single” his ads changed to dating sites and chat phone lines.

  22. Anonymous says:

    We recently found my wife was pregnant. She never posted anything about it, but some friends have posted “congratulations” on her wall. Since then, I’ve been getting ads on Facebook for pregnancy books for dads-to-be.

    It seemed a little strange, but Facebook knows how to make money.

  23. Jesse says:

    I wonder if this has anything to do with Facebook Beacon.

  24. ct_price says:

    For those of you who do not know. Facebook is going to monetize their platform by essentially being Big Brother. I heard a speech from Facebook’s Chief Revenue Officer a few years back and they were already then targeting communications and marketing offerings to retailers on stuff like this. Very scary stuff. I can imagine they have done mucho work on it to make it far more sophisticated now. I would not post anything to Facebook that you don’t mind being sold to the highest bidder. They will know everything about you and then use that info to literally put you in the marketing crosshairs. All your info are belong to us.

    • johnva says:

      @ct_price: Yep. I’m really surprised at how willingly people give up all this detailed information to these companies. I admit that I do give up some valuable info on Facebook (namely, my friends graph) but I don’t post constant information about my life.

  25. calquist says:

    She might have looked at someone’s wedding page on facebook. Just by looking at it, you essentially add the application to your facebook. Once you do this, they have access to your information, including e-mail. The wedding app probably just tracks who changes their status to engaged and then e-mail them that way.

    If you have ever clicked on someone’s wedding page on facebook, you have the app too. Click on the applications link in the bottom left corner and you will see it there. I noticed it there once and I definitely did not add it on my own, just looked at other’s Wedding Book page.

  26. rhys1882 says:

    It’s likely facebook themselves sold the information to Pottery Barn. They already allow advertisers to target information to users based on their personal information.

  27. golddog says:

    OK folks here’s the deal. Apps on FB are how they know. You know that IQ Quiz or Mafia Wars or What 5 Lubricants Represent Me Best? That’s your payment for giving up your privacy. Read the apps’ ToS. If you don’t opt out of Beacon and use apps, you’re in the Matrix baby.

    Fifteen years ago, no company in the world could have afforded the detailed market research that FB gives them. Now, for the price of developing some stupid Flash application, they can drill down to incredible levels of detail…people who live in X region of the country who have at least N friends of whom at least Y are people of color and who update their status at least Z times per day are very likely to buy Product A at Amazon if hit up with an email or sidebar ad. This story is just a small example of how they move that research outside the FB space. Just wait until Chase or Kaiser Permanente start developing apps to decide if they should sell you their product (or what they’ll charge you for it).

    • golddog says:

      @golddog: I should add that no matter what you set your privacy settings to, the above applies. Apps have a separate ToS from the main FB site. When Chase makes that app to determine your creditworthiness, they very likely aren’t going to tell you it’s them and will instead use an intermediary.

    • secret_curse says:

      @golddog: Thank you. I had to read for several minutes to get to someone that could actually answer this incredibly simple question.

      On Facebook, if you install an app you give the author your approval to mine whatever info they want from your profile and sell that information to whomever they deem fit. Also, any email you get from that sale isn’t technically spam, because you have an “existing business relationship” with the app author who sold your information.

      Also, I’ve been engaged for a little over a year (the big day is Saturday). Get used to seeing wedding related ads every time you log in. I’ve heard from friends once you change the status from engaged to hitched, you just get ads for home improvement and baby stuff…

      • HogwartsAlum says:

        @secret_curse:

        Hmmm…maybe I won’t do FB after all. Thank you for the warning. I did not know that.

        And congratulations! I hope you have a great day! :)

  28. katiat325 says:

    nothing new. When I posted that I’m engaged, all of a sudden the adds on FB changed to “wedding photography” “wedding caterers” “bridal wear” etc. It’s just targeted add marketing, and she needs to probably change her privacy settings on her FB account.

  29. Sara Brown says:

    <__< I’ve had the same thing happen to me, though in a bit of a different manner… I received a congratulations and discount offer from Target’s Bridal Registry for my upcoming wedding. Only thing is, I’m 20 years old without a fiancee or intent to be married in sight. I can also attest truthfully that I have NEVER registered myself for any sort of bridal website.
    Then again, with the way Target’s own surreality has been going lately, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at all…..

  30. bwcbwc says:

    Also be aware of who you expose the data to. If you run a facebook app (like those games and trivia contests), it has access to your profile, including your friends. And it’s not really clear if the apps abide by the privacy restrictions. At the very least, your friends are going to start seeing “suggestions” from facebook to try out your favorite apps. Similarly, if you become a “fan” of a commercial entity, they have access.

    My personal rule of thumb is to limit my Facebook participation to individual friends and acquaintances and not do any gaming or business on the site. So far, so good.

  31. chrisjames says:

    When my sister was looking for a new house over a decade ago, she immediately received mail from banks trying to sell her loans, realtors trying to sell a new place or buy her old one, and creditors that thought she could use a huge credit limit on a new card (assuming secondary costs, maybe).

    When I was in a car accident a year ago, I had only filed a police report and on the following weekend received three calls about how much I needed a lawyer and how I could sue over any injuries.

    They don’t need Facebook to find you. You put out your feelers and the spying eyes will spot you one way or another. Makes you want to slap any person that says privacy is irrelevant if you have nothing to hide.

  32. Baccus83 says:

    It’s called data-mining. It’s how Facebook makes money and remains a free service.

  33. azsumrg1rl says:

    Perhaps she didn’t turn off the beacon feature?

  34. jdsmn says:

    Maybe one of the applications she has on her facebook sells data to Pottery Barn? You have to agree to grant access of your personal info to all those applications to make them work, and who knows if the “Five Favorite Beers App” isn’t written to report data back to a marketing company!

    • supercereal says:

      @jdsmn: I’m willing to bet money that this is what happened. People generally don’t read the terms on the applications when adding them, and all of them allow (as I recall) third parties full access to their profile information.

    • johnva says:

      @jdsmn: Or, they could have gotten her name and zip code from her public profile, and then correlated that with some other source of information that includes her email address. Datamining can do very powerful things that most people aren’t even aware of.

      But yeah, there is a reason I don’t just accept all the random “applications” that get thrown at you on Facebook. Any one of them could be a Trojan horse to get around all your privacy settings, and it would be very easy to spread something like that around by disguising it as a stupid game or something. Facebook REALLY needs to put in place some more advanced access control for third-party applications.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        @johnva: I don’t use twitter at all and this post is making me even less interested in the site. I just don’t get the appeal.

        • johnva says:

          @dragonfire81: Twitter is total garbage, in my opinion. It’s like taking the most stupid, inane, and mindless aspects of Facebook, MySpace, etc (the dumb status updates everyone but me seems to be obsessed with) and removing everything else.

  35. Anonymous says:

    actually, when i changed my facebook status to “engaged” last august, i also started receiving ads that were targeted towards that. for the last year i have seen a steady stream of ads for registries, photographers, caterers, shoes, rings, etc. and it happened way before i set up an account with the knot. i just assumed they were using a program similar to that of google’s gmail ads.

  36. Kishi says:

    I don’t know, it seems like an abrupt jump to “I’m being stalked on Facebook.” I could be wrong.

  37. jenjen says:

    What I want to know is how Facebook knows I’m fat. I get a lot of ads for plus-size stuff. How do they know?

  38. KixStar says:

    Newsflash: My Facebook is 100% friends-only too, and since I changed my status to engaged, I’ve gotten nonstop spam/ads from every retailer under the sun wanting to “help me plan my wedding”. Welcome to the internet. Anyone anywhere can access your entire life.

  39. Rachacha says:

    Perhaps that the OP and his fiancee are simply “of that age” when people typically get married and Pottery Barn simply took their chances at sending out an E-mail to all those people who fit a certain demographic. Normally the OP would discount it as spam, but this time the timing was perfect.

    About 2.5 years after our last child was born, we stared receiving coupons for baby formula and sample infant diapers from all the major diaper manufacturers. Every few months we would receive more coupons and samples for the next size diaper. While we are not sure, we believe that the companies simply hedged their bets that 2-3 years after the birth of a child, a couple will have a second (or third or 4th or..) child. In our case they missed the mark, but we did know several people who recently had a baby so we gave the coupons and samples to them. The end result was the same, the sample was given to someone who could use it.

    I am happy to report however that our imaginary “third child” is doing well, and has graduated to training pants and is eating solid food. Developmentally(s)he is now reading Highlights magazine and likes to watch all of the Disney classics purchased through the video of the month club.

    • johnva says:

      @Rachacha: Not likely, especially given the timing. Why guess when you can know nowadays? Someone will gladly sell you that information.

  40. RobertBaron says:

    I was under the impression Facebook’s whole business model was based on taking all the information you type in and selling it to parties who use it to sell you stuff.

    I don’t see why the OP is surprised. It isn’t common knowledge how Facebook makes money?

  41. MissPiss says:

    I got sick of seeing ads on Myspace “Are you fat for a 27 year old female???”. I’m NOT fat but I was sick to death of seeing those every damn time I logged on. So I said goodbye to Myspace! Bastards!