Facebook's New Mobile Ad Network Uses Your Data To Target You In Other Apps And Sites

Yesterday, Facebook announced that it’s new mobile ad network (the one that analysts are counting on to rescue the company’s stock price) would allow advertisers to pay to use your Facebook data to target you with ads outside the Facebook environment. So, for example, if you’ve authorized Facebook on an outside mobile website, you’ll begin to see ads targeted to your Facebook profile data.

Says TechCrunch:

Starting later today, you may start seeing banner and interstitial ads targeted by your Facebook biographical and social data within non-Facebook mobile iOS and Android apps plus mobile websites where you’ve authenticated with Facebook. The targetable data includes your age, gender, location, Likes, friends who’ve used an advertiser’s app and basically any other targeting options in Facebook’s standard ads marketplace.

…today represents an important shift from Facebook utilizing its traffic to instead solely utilizing its data to monetize. There might be some small vocal minority unhappy about the repurposing of their profile data, but Facebook assures me privacy was “top of mind” when designing the new ads program and no personally identifiable information is ever shared with third parties.

In the end, people are going to see ads in other apps anyways so they might as well be relevant.

You might have guessed how we feel about Facebook using your personal profile data to target you with ads since, after all, we are an ad-free organization and are notoriously grouchy. Then again, you did give them the data, right?


Edit Your Comment

  1. TuxthePenguin says:

    If you are not paying for the service or product, you are not really the customer…

  2. oatmealpacket says:

    Facebook is an awesome service with a vast array of uses! I think that offering our data to be used in this way is really the least we can do given that it’s free.

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    Pretty soon, I won’t be able to take a sh*t without my toilet
    alerting Facebook to that fact. Enough of this nonsense already.

    • Abradax says:

      Twitter says to wash your hands.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        You’re obviously not versed in “Twitter” spelling.

        twitter sez 2 wash ur hnds

        • Abradax says:

          Meh, it was less than 140

          • nbs2 says:

            I have to admit, that is one thing I enjoy about Twitter – writing out consumer issues in 140 characters while maintaining some semblance of education really forces you to learn your synonyms (and creative grammar).

            • Blueskylaw says:

              The problem with Twitter language is that people are writing that way EVERYWHERE! I looked on LinkedIn where MBAs were looking for jobs and they were starting their sentences with lowercase letters, using lowercase i(s), misspelled words, atrocious grammar, abbreviated words, no space after a period, there-their-they’re, etc. I just laughed out loud for a second and said to myself that’s less competition for me when it comes time to compete for a job.

    • SpeakR40Dead says:

      Only if/when you post it as an update.

  4. Lombard Montague says:

    The more I see an ad for something, the less likely I am to purchase it. It’s not too hard to figure out when you buy a product that uses commercials, website ads, etc, a big portion of your money is going to pay for those commercials. In essense, you are paying to annoy yourself.

    • SpeakR40Dead says:

      Commercials and Ads are revenue for the product. Companies sell ad space or commercials in products. Therefore your money is not for buying commercials—it is essentially adding to that products revenue stream.

    • guaporico says:

      It’s all about brand recognition. Look at Axe body spray, its a cheap perfume spray aimed at men. Yet because they are marketed very strongly, men buy it up. Amusing really.

  5. Lucky225 says:

    I don’t see why there is always some big fuss about some shit that doesn’t really matter, facebook’s mobile app, by default, sniffs out your location from surrounding wifi networks — even if you’re not connected to them and have gps off, and transmits your approximate location within a few feet when you IM people from the facebook messenger — and no one seems to have a problem with THIS? How many people do you add to your ‘friends’ list that you don’t actually know? And you’re sitting here chatting from your phone at home giving them their address unintentionally and not one fucking media outlet has shamed facebook on this, you know something that ACTUALLY invades your privacy. Most of my friends are tech savy, several have good reason NOT to share their address with me, I’ve caught at least 5 of them who unknowingly sent me their home and work locations while chatting with me.

  6. areaman says:

    Link for the article should really point to…


    FB made this update yesterday.

    I noticed it yesterday when I saw an ad for a music venue my out of town friends live near. Now I know why they had an ad up for some place where I might visit.

  7. SpeakR40Dead says:

    My theory is that ads in general are more ‘pay-per-click’ than it is ‘click-and-buy’. I don’t even look at the ads but, because of their placement I have ‘clicked’ on several. In the web economy, clicks are currency.

    • Sad Sam says:

      This happens when I have Pandora on, the ad placement is such that its impossible to get rid of the ad to read the musician or song title without actually clicking on the ad. Totally purposeful.

  8. Sad Sam says:

    I find the mobile ads in other apps to be an annoyance but whatever. More than anything though they are never helpful.

    If FaceBook wants to offer me an ad giving me a discount to a particular restaurant that I’ve checked in to, that would be awesome. But otherwise what is the point. I get FB ads when I’m sitting at work, a lot of the ads relate to shopping and stores my friends like which I also like but have not “liked” on FB. I’m not sure what the point is, seeing a FB ad for Nordstroms is not going to trigger me to get out of my office chair and drive to Nordstroms, its not even going to trigger me to go to the website. And all the FB dog ads make no sense to me either, yes I have a dog, no I do not have any interest in purchasing a wardrobe with said dog featured.

  9. daemonaquila says:

    “In the end, people are going to see ads in other apps anyways so they might as well be relevant.” What a crock. I have eliminated virtually all ads using various browser plug-ins, I ignore the 1 in 1000 that makes it through, and I do everything I can to screw with their statistics and tracking, and encourage others to do the same. There’s a reason that ads companies are so competitive and so pushy – virtually nobody is paying attention in overmarketed America, and anyone with an ounce of brains and will has found a way to avoid the ads.

    The only way an ad is ever relevant is when its presence causes a person to boycott the business obnoxious enough to shove it in their face.