When I think about the ways in which audiences are being measured or recorded, I’m immediately reminded of my own experience with the several forms of advertising on my Facebook homepage, clearly tailored to appeal to my likes and interests. Facebook has approximately 950 million users and counting
and who are being subjected to personalized and targeted advertising to draw their attention. Clearly an audience of such a size has proven to be a massive success for Facebook since advertising was introduced to user’s homepages in 2011. By using information from a user’s previous web searches, advertisements that relate to their searches will appear on their Facebook newsfeed without them knowing why or how.
There was a particular instance one day when I was scrolling through my newsfeed where an add popped up for The Iconic’s website with three pictures of their women’s clothing. These pictures were the exact garments that I had searched and clicked on the day before when I was on The Iconic’s website! This obviously freaked me out when I realized that the Internet is watching my every single move and is now trying to send me subliminal messages to buy products that I know or don’t need or can afford right now.
This is a clear example of just how successful/important audience profiling and measuring can be. It can play a strategic role in determining just what Facebook users want or in the same respect don’t want, (no I do not want to try your “new fitness trend that is used by models and celebrities!”) all the while Facebook makes a profit from these advertisements directed at Facebook users.
Whilst most might argue that this form of audience measurement in relation to Facebook advertising is successful, it hasn’t always been the case. Google still has more success with it’s advertising in regards to the revenue it gains than that of Facebook. Here’s a little comparison of how Google uses advertising as opposed to Facebook. Which leads me to wonder why then if the majority of these ads aren’t effective, are they still being displayed on my newsfeed if I’m not so inclined to act upon seeing them? Perhaps the subliminal messages that they’re sending me do perhaps lead to a future purchase as a result of them popping up on my news feed and I’m just not consciously aware of it.
Occam’s Razor. 2012. Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/facebook-advertising-marketing-best-metrics-roi-business-value/. [Accessed 17 August 14].
Mashable. 2011. Facebook’s New Advertising Strategy Is Brilliant and Unexpected. [ONLINE] Available at: http://mashable.com/2011/10/03/facebook-ad-strategy/. [Accessed 17 August 14].