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SOCIAL MEDIA

HOW FREE IS FACEBOOK?

By Lucy Wilkes totalsocsec@gmail.com www.totalsocialsecretary.com

O

pen up any Facebook account and you will see the strap line, “It’s free and always will be” when you sign in. Technically true, but just how is Facebook utilising your personal information, not only from its own pages, but by securing leads from across all platforms and search engines? Most of us now turn to the internet as the first port of call when searching for new products, whether it’s a phone, washing machine, holidays, hotels... Few of us realise our everyday searches are being passed on to Facebook to add to their vast stock of individual customer data. It may seem a coincidence that a certain brand you were searching for on various sites will mysteriously appear in your Facebook timeline, advertising the very item you had been searching for. Easy to ignore or helpful advice: either way, Facebook are using information from your web browsing history to tailor ads to your profile So why is Facebook – a site used for sharing stories and photos – interested in your likes and buying choices? Facebook is, of course, a business – and as a business it needs to turn a profit. A recent Forbes article reported that Facebook “states that its revenue for the fourth quarter rose 42% from $2.5 billion to $3.54

billion in the same quarter a year earlier, ” back in April 2015. Whereas Facebook used to store user information based solely on your likes and interactions , it is now working with third-party organisations to garner crucial stats about your preferred brand choices, which means Facebook can fine-tune the ads displayed on your timeline, giving more weight to charge businesses to promote ads on their site.

“Facebook is, of course, a business – and as a business it needs to turn a profit.” As the market leader, Facebook have recently announced they have 40 million active global business pages. That`s a lot of companies trying

to get noticed with their events/sales/ updates. Any business with a company web page will have noticed over the last couple of years a drastic decline in engagement with their followers and an increase in the suggestion from Facebook to pay for their posts to be promoted. Facebook for a fee - will target and hone your business post to an audience whose personal preferences have been gleaned from third-party sourcing of web browser history. Here at Total Social Agency we do not recommend paying for or promoting ads; instead, we work on beautiful and creative content that is shared widely. To avoid being targeted and having personal browser information being stored - and used by Facebook as collateral for an increase in their marketing sales - there is the opportunity to opt out of tailored advertising via the Digital Advertising Alliance. There is also the site DO NOT TRACK ME, which has been devised to block tracking companies, ad networks, social networks and data collection agencies. DoNotTrackMe claim to have blocked over 1 trillion attempts to track users’ browsing histories from sites, including Facebook. So, initially, Facebook is “Free and Always will be” is the accurate Facebook motto – as long as you remember those terms and conditions.

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Profile for Platinum Business

PLATINUM BUSINESS MAGAZINE - SUSSEX - ISSUE 16  

The widest-read business publication in the South East. Covering International Trade, Legal Issues, Accountancy, Wealth Management, Business...

PLATINUM BUSINESS MAGAZINE - SUSSEX - ISSUE 16  

The widest-read business publication in the South East. Covering International Trade, Legal Issues, Accountancy, Wealth Management, Business...