So, Facebook’s new ads aren’t quite as creepy as they sound.
The new Facebook ad update allows businesses who run ads to attach a map with the location or locations of their brick and mortar stores. More than that, through the location service on smartphones, businesses can now track how many people saw their ad and ended up at the actual location. It’s really pretty cool and profoundly helpful when it comes to tracking the effectiveness of Facebook ads. Smartphones already track everything anyway so may as well use their power for good instead of evil.
Facebook is also working on tracking what those people buy.
You heard that right. Through Facebook’s new ads API, called Offline Conversion API, Facebook draws consumer purchase information directly from point-of-service providers like IBM and Square. Facebook correlates the tracking statistics by merging their advertising data with the purchase information acquired by the POS providers. In simple terms, they match their users who saw particular ads and went into the physical location, with their purchase history from those POS providers they are partnering with and voila! – useful information. This is all great news for businesses who use Facebook to advertise and for Facebook who wants to prove that their ads are effective.
What does it mean for the consumer?
Not much really. Smartphones are already providing far more information about us than we ever planned. Have you ever looked something up on your phone and had an ad for it show up on your Facebook feed? This is like that. Not a real big deal unless you are very concerned about not being spied on – in which case, you probably just need to ditch your phone altogether.
Facebook really does want its advertisers to make more money and be able to track how well their ads are doing. It’s only in Facebook’s best interest to provide the tools to refine marketing strategies because the better Facebook’s new ads work, the more businesses will pay to use the service. Ah, the joys of commerce.