The Redeye Complex

Friday, November 16, 2007
Social Advertising

Mathew Ingram in the Globe writes about a new Facebook feature - social advertising.
The third leg in the social-advertising stool is one of the most interesting. It's called Facebook Beacon, and it effectively tracks the online behaviour of users – those who specifically choose to take part in the service – not just within Facebook but elsewhere on the Internet as well.

When someone buys something at Amazon, for example, that information is recorded through the use of a tracking cookie, and can then be broadcast to the person's friends on Facebook. In effect, it becomes an advertisement, but it is inserted into the “news feed” that Facebook users get from friends.

Depending on your perspective (and whether you are a user or an advertiser) this might strike you as either a little creepy, or a stroke of genius (or perhaps a bit of both).

I'm still trying to decide whether I need a facebook account. After reading this, I'm not in a hurry to click on over.


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