In a bid to offer advertisers FacebookAds that target their preferred demographics more precisely, Facebook is looking to up its big data analytics game in 2015. The world’s most widely-used social networking platform announced it has struck a deal with DataSift to open up the firehose and give companies access to real-time relevant data about what its users are currently talking about through a new insights product called Topic Data.
This partnership is destined to revolutionize social media advertising by allowing advertising companies to know the type of things being said about their products or services and by which demographic. For example, this insight would enable a fashion store to identify which segments of the public find their clothing attractive thereby creating a more specific customer base they can target.
The partnership with DataSift has raised some eyebrows concerning privacy and the anonymity of Facebook users’ personal information. Facebook has put these concerns to rest by stating that the data analysis wouldn’t target individual users but will sample wide-spread demographics. Data is aggregated and anonymized so no individual details are at risk.
With this move Facebook joins other social networking platforms, such as Twitter, which already provide a trending list for advertisers to track what consumers are saying. It also pits Facebook more directly against Google in an effort to break Google’s stranglehold on the online advertising market.
Google currently controls a whopping 32 percent of the online advertising niche while Facebook is a distant second with approximately 7.2 percent. Google’s success has been attributed to its ability to accurately track consumer needs, location and demographic with its DoubleClick program. DoubleClick provides a similar ability to buy and track ads based on real-time demographic information and Facebook intends to reduce this dominance with the help of DataSift.
As the year rolls by, we will continue to monitor this battle. We will provide you with more insights on Facebook’s evolving advertising strategies as well as Google’s efforts to stay at the top of the online advertising food chain.