You might not realize it, but those trendy, and quite often annoying, little crazes that are currently floating around Facebook (aka: the numbers game, what you’re thankful for) are helping me, and many Facebook Marketers like me, use your information against you. Yep, that’s right, this month I am so very thankful for Facebook trends that get millions of Facebook users to share their hobbies, favorite foods, favorite music, and so much more!
Facebook terms really could not be clearer: if you use Facebook, you allow Facebook to use your postings and other personal data for advertising.
The Numbers Game
Right now, as I type this, tens of thousands of Facebook users are filling up their Facebook status updates with personal information. They are given a number from a friend who is playing the game and told to tell 8, or 10, things about themselves.
Seems simple and harmless enough, right? Hahaha (insert sinister laugh with moustache twirling villain).
Every single thing that you post on Facebook is categorized and used in advertising. So, this simple and harmless game where you tell boring or insightful details about yourself is being used by people like me who aim advertising at people like you.
Say, for example, you run your ‘5 Things About Me’ like this:
1) I love chocolate ice cream on a Sunday evening while watching the NFL on NBC.
2) I don’t often hit the gym, but I check-in to 24 Hour Fitness every time I drive by.
3) Just bought a pair of Nike running shoes for that new NordicTrack treadmill I will probably never use.
4) I’m afraid of the dark.
5) I love Oreos! It is my dark little secret.
Guess what? That information is going to be used by sports teams, 24 Hour Fitness as well as competing local gyms who want your business, Nike and their competition, every treadmill company on Facebook, Oreos and their competition, and thousands of other brands.
Not only with your “5 Things About Me” game be used against you, these interests, mentions and likes that you talk about will be placed into the bigger system, where patterns of audience demographics will be determined.
Thankful in November
Another wonderful addition to Facebook advertising data in November is the thankful trend. While it’s not necessarily a game, posting what you’re thankful for each November is a trend that I’m sure Facebook is very, very thankful for!
The same concept with the numbers game from above applies to being thankful in November. These trends increase user engagement, as well as the amount of time people spend on Facebook. If the trend is to post every single day on Facebook what you’re thankful for, November Facebook usage numbers should be increased, as well as Facebook’s data collection for advertisers.
Facebook is pushing its users to share more data while also making that information easier to find. – NYTimes.com
“Every day, people post billions of pieces of content and connections into the graph and in doing this, they’re helping to build the clearest model of everything there is to know in the world,” Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, told Wall Street analysts in a conference call last month. “This has the potential to be really powerful, but right now, we actually do very little to utilize the knowledge that people have shared to benefit everyone in our community.”