Facebook is watching you; Atlas, the blessing for the marketer or yet another curse?

For many years Facebook stood firmly behind their statement that it would not track and sell our data for commercial purposes. However, during the last years it launched several innovations that, you guess it, withstand their initial ‘supposedly consumer friendly’ position.

Now Facebook has come with a whole new way to earn money out of you. With Facebook’s  new advertising platform, third parties will be able to follow your every move. Even when you are not using Facebook. How exactly? Facebook’s new  ad platform, Atlas, will integrate with all the data that Facebook is storing from its users. Consequently,  Atlas will compile profiles to which companies can buy access to. Every time you will enter a website that is part of the Atlas database, you will add personal information apart from the information it has on you from your Facebook profile. This enables companies to establish advertisement strategies that comply with our social-media based behavior.

How does Atlas exactly works?

Mobile marketing is increasing in popularity but cookies are merely not advanced enough to work effectively on mobile platforms. Ads usually do not show and companies cannot easily measure the impact of the portrayed banners or other ads. With Atlas, our Facebook profiles will be used as substitutes to provide targeted advertisement. Companies will now have a complete image of  how Facebook users came to conversion, despite them using different devices such as mobile, pc or tablet. All that the customers  have to do is to use one Facebook profile and Atlas will keep track of all their steps across different devices.

However, there is more. This also enables companies to link offline purchases to online behavior. Simply gaining your email address will give companies the ability to sneak peek in our lives. Companies won’t have to do serious data mining to create our profiles, instead we are doing it for them. Anno 2014, we live in a society where we have to constantly share information online to create our identity. It almost becomes a rule that we have to stay ‘connected’ to be seen.

Atlas is calling this ‘people-based marketing’ and sure, from a marketing perspective, this creates many possibilities. Companies can effectively change and monetize their advertising strategies while actually reaching their accurate target group.

However, for privacy concerned citizens, this might be rather intrusive and maybe too much of a violation of our privacy. Undoubtedly this will raise many privacy concerns. What do you think? Innovations like these were bound to happen nowadays, but do you think the benefits will outpace the loss on our privacy?





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