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A cynic leads to Facebook's decision to use third party data for advertising



Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Paul Marotta / Getty Images

  • Facebook has stated that trying to eliminate the use of third party data for ad targeting is all about protecting its users. But some see a more calculated move.
  • It's possible that this targeting option was not a main revenue driver for Facebook, but the elimination makes the company sensitive to privacy.
  • Facebook may also have planned this move to defend against the GDPR or even strengthen its own data advantage

Former President Barack Obama has often warned against cynicism.

That's a nice, noble feeling. But the thing is, Obama has never worked in advertising.

Facebook's announcement to erase third-party data source advertising was, of course, presented to protect users.

But there are other viable theories.

Facebook is getting a targeting option that is not that important and it will be a great PR trick.

Removing the option to engage users with ads based on their past shopping habits and other third-party information sends a strong signal that Facebook has received the "privacy memo" following the embarrassing Cambridge Analytica saga – and that takes drastic measures.

Still, it's hard to believe that Facebook would rule out an ad-targeting option that seriously damages its thriving ad business. It's more likely that Facebook will eliminate a less important source of revenue by phasing out its Partner Categories program.

"Certainly some categories (of the advertiser) use this third-party data tool (third-party data) more than others," said Lance Neuhauser, CEO of digital advertising company 4C. "We have a lot of customers who do not touch these deals. [Datenintegration von Drittanbietern] is certainly not the strength of Facebook."

Facebook knows it would never make big TV brands happy, so stop trying.

It's true that big, traditional marketers like Procter & Gamble and Unilever have reduced digital advertising and questioned the feasibility of Facebook's data for targeting (for example, if you're trying to sell toothpaste, you just need it something to attack everyone.

So instead of continuing to lean back for these brands, Facebook can stick to its bread and butter – catering for advertisers who rely on Facebook or their own data. [ThismayhinderFacebook'sgrowthintheshortterm"Wehavealotofbrandswithnofirst-partydatathatstilltypesonsocialmediasoitcouldaffectthem"saidPaiddirectorPhillipHuynhSocialLeadNewYorkat360iadvertisingagency"Facebookhasalwayspromised"one-to-one"marketingwhichkeepsthemfromdoingso"

Facebook is really taking care to be regulated. And that gives them something to talk about in Congress.

You see Senator Rubio? We are on!

Facebook would do that anyway because it's ready for European regulation – and Cambridge gave them a good excuse.

In May, the Data Protection Act (DSGVO) enters into force in Europe, but affects every global digital enterprise. At the heart of this scheme is that advertisers, publishers and sign making companies require explicit permission from consumers to use their data for ad targeting.

It's possible that Facebook is planning to sell third-party ads just to protect itself from the GDPR – and the Cambridge crisis has given it cover. "This is much more about preparing for the GDPR," said Neuhauser. "It kills two birds with one stone."

The most disgusting theory: The Cambridge crisis gave Facebook justification to make the walls in its walled garden even higher.

It's quite possible that Facebook never really had the idea of ​​putting any external data on its platform because it wanted to protect the value of its own consumer data and keep it in its own walls.

This move may cause Facebook to be viewed as pro-private, while theoretically it has a larger business impact.

A marketer said, "That was a masterpiece of deception," he said. "Now the only alternative is to use FB's black box targeting solution."

But try not to be cynical again.


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