Facebook and, most recently, Instagram (owned by Facebook) have announced data policy changes. Ultimately, the changes will see the two platforms share data between themselves and any other affiliates.
It would appear the change has been forced upon its users without any genuine consultation. Effectively, Facebook ditched its user voting system last month in favour of requesting feedback in the form of user comments, i.e. taking full control of governance and scrapping any form of democracy.
Arguably, however, Facebook had little choice but to take full control of governance. Given that Facebook moves at such a fast pace, putting changes up for vote wouldn’t be realistic and would drastically slow things down. In essence, Facebook always gets what it wants. A democratic vote is a liability, another obstacle in pleasing the companies that heavily invest in Facebook advertising. How many of the 1 billion plus users will vote with their feet? Not many, I would argue.
The main reason for this data sharing amongst affiliates comes down to advertising and the need for ads to be more targeted and effective. In allowing data to be shared between affiliates, it is hoped that a better understanding of user information and behaviour can be gained, thus opening the door for more targeted ads.
In the short term, however, I doubt any immediate benefits will be seen. Granted, building up a more precise picture of users will be a valuable addition to a marketer’s armoury, but this picture will take time to form. In my view, the biggest positive to take from this move is that Facebook is on our side. Perhaps Facebook is not to be commended for its seeming cavalier attitude towards its users, but the benefits to marketers and advertisers cannot be denied.
If you would like to discuss these changes and how 4Ps Marketing as a social media agency can help you to use this data to target your audience more efficiently, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].
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