Wall Street Seems to Like Facebook's New Personal Ad Strategy

Rebecca Greenfield
The Atlantic Wire
Wall Street Seems to Like Facebook's New Personal Ad Strategy

Over the last month, Facebook has been spelling out its new take on advertising, a lot of which involves giving your personal information to marketers. Over that same period, its stock price, which had been in freefall since its IPO, has climbed back 25 percent, leading us to believe that Wall Street likes its new data-driven, privacy-challenging ad strategies.

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Facebook knows its biggest disappointment in front of the finance world has been its inability to prove that its ads sell things. In the last month or so, we've seen the social network attempt to fix that, pushing out the following new ad-related initiatives, which also happen to target users based more on their personal data and habits than ever before.

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  • It officially launched its new Ad Exchange, which allows advertisers to serve real-time ads based on your web-browsing habits. Say you're browsing for flights somewhere, soon you will see ads that correlate to that search.
  • It is also beta testing new mobile ads that, in the words of TechCrunch's John Constine, use "Your Data To Target You With Banner Ads In Other Apps." Basically, when 
  • Perhaps most enticing to marketers, the social network has partnered with Datalogix to use offline buying information to make its online ads better. It plans on using that to measure how well Internet ads work for real life purchases. So far, it has found that only 1 percent of ad-clicks led to in-store sales, which will lead to an adjustment in how frequently users see ads. 
  • And at the way end of August, Facebook introduced e-mail and phone number based ad-targeting, which allow businesses to target a group of people based on their location. 

As you can see, all of these things, in some way or another, share more personal information and habits with advertiser  in an attempt to get the right people seeing (and then buying). And just as Wall Street has noticed, so have users. Facebook has attempted to head off any concerns with a recent post on its site outlining what it does and doesn't share and how that ultimately protects users. For right now, that seems to be working well enough. Though privacy advocates have expressed worry over Facebook's partnership with Datalogix, it hasn't led to a mass exodus, nor has the Federal Trade Commission gotten involved, yet. This all leaves the social network in a pretty good place with investors, advertisers, and users—something the site hasn't seen since its public debut.