[FoRK] I've joined the modern era
Adam L Beberg
beberg at mithral.com
Sun Feb 1 15:37:18 PST 2009
Corinna Schultz wrote on 2/1/2009 12:00 PM:
> On a whim, I signed up on Facebook. Wow, I feel 5 years younger!
Ha, Ha! They got you...
Gay or straight, your Facebook is their fortune
Rupert Neate and Rowena Mason
February 2, 2009
FACEBOOK is planning to exploit the vast amount of personal information
it holds on its 150 million members by creating one of the world's
largest market research databases.
In an attempt to finally cash in on the social networking site, once
valued at $US15 billion ($23.6 billion), it will soon allow
multinational companies to selectively target its members in order to
research the appeal of new products. Companies will be able to pose
questions to specially selected members based on such intimate details
as whether they are single or married and even whether they are gay or
The company, which has struggled to make money from advertising, has
been demonstrating the benefits of its new instant polling tool to
business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Randi Zuckerberg, the global markets director of Facebook and sister of
its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, said multinational companies had been
bowled over by the ability to receive real-time feedback from the site's
millions of users.
"I had tons of people saying 'this could be so incredible for our
business'. It takes a very long time to do a focus group, and businesses
often don't have the luxury of time. I think they liked the instant
responses," she said.
At the conference Facebook asked a range of questions of its users
before feeding the answers back to delegates within minutes. It targeted
users in Palestine and then Israel with the same question about global
peace, before debating the results.
Marketing experts have said the vast amount of personal information
Facebook holds may be worth "untold millions" to market research companies.
Facebook has sold the new polling system, called engagement ads, to
CareerBuilder, a recruitment company.
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