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Facebook will soon go from just a social networking and hook-up site to the world’s largest market research database. The company which has always struggled with ad revenue sales is finally putting the information it holds to use by allowing multinational companies to target its members in order to conduct market research on new products.
Randi Zuckerman, global markets director of Facebook, and consequently, sister of its founder Mark Zuckerberg, told The Sydney Morning Herald that companies around the world were “bowled over” at their ability to receive real-time feedback on such a wide array of topics.
The old way of doing market research had you paraded into a room with a cross section of society and sat in front of a large 2-way mirror. A moderator would show you videos and ask questions and you would say whatever they wanted to hear just to get your 50 bucks and get out of there. Facebook’s new marketing integration is like that except you don’t get paid for it because your information is already on your wall. However based on preliminary tests polls and research questions may also be a part of the integration.
Marketing experts have said the vast amount of personal information Facebook holds may be worth "untold millions" to market research companies. For example: if you recently changed your status from “in a relationship” to “single” you may be contacted by Match.com. If you post a note about an upcoming concert you may be asked to listen to that band’s upcoming album and give feedback. If you purchased tickets through Fandango to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop you may be contacted just to find out what the hell’s wrong with you.
No word exactly how soon we may be inundated with annoying ads for things we don't want, but brace yourself -- it's coming and there's nowhere (on Facebook) to hide.
-- JASON NELSON