It was announced last week that Facebook is serving real-time ads based upon keywords in status updates. They are testing the algorithm to only 1% of Facebook users.
As a marketer, I am intrigued by the implications of having access to consumers at key decision-making moments. But as a consumer, I am having flashbacks to the ninth grade and reading George Orwell’s book “1984.” Is this a bigger “Big Brother?” Should I be concerned about what information is being collected about me and my Facebook friends?
I have not checked Facebook security settings, but I believe consumers should be able to opt-out to receive such advertising. As a marketer, I think it is responsible to target consumers who are open to having advertising messages as part of their experience. I am feel it improves response. Consumers only act upon advertising if it is relevant, offers a solution and is timely.
As a consumer, monitoring my Facebook conversations bothers me more than tracking my keyword searches or the websites I visit in order to serve up relevant advertising. To me that behavior is less private or personal. Am I wrong to think that way?
I am always conscious of the fact that what is done on the web may not be private or secure. But Facebook has allowed me to be in control of who sees my information, my status updates and other activities. This seems to be contradictory to allowing me to establish my privacy settings.
I may be over-reacting. And I am certain that I am playing both sides when I say that I am looking forward to seeing the ad response rates compared to other behavioral targeted advertising.