Facebook was chastised online Monday by Ad Age, a company known for advertising and marketing news. It seems that Facebook has been telling users of the social media website one thing, but telling potential advertisers something else. In other words, according to Ad Age, Facebook has been lying, or omitting the truth, from consumers.
Facebook claims that they rarely use the content of “status updates” for ad targeting. However, every time you update your status on Facebook, the company may be searching that update for keywords and phrases. They will then use those keywords and phrases to give potential advertisers more specific advertising. Facebook has told some marketing companies that their ads will be specifically targeted based on status updates.
Kristina Tipton, the vice president of marketing at Cafe Mom, claims that her team has identified more than a million women by targeting keywords in conversations. By searching users’ conversations for keywords like “morning sickness”, “ultrasound” and “pregnancy test” the company is able to target their ads to new mothers. Tipton claims those terms have a hashtag next to them in Facebook’s “ad tool” and that her Facebook rep told her that this search process includes people who have mentioned the terms in their posts as well as those who have added the terms to their profile.
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