Social Media

Facebook warnings everyone should know

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With over 1 billion active users Facebook has become the number one social networking mecca, and for most of you it feels like a pleasant and safe place to virtually socialise. However, I feel, as a Digital Marketing specialist, I should you should know about the ‘inside’ of how Facebook (the platform) makes its money and how many Facebook users are making money using your personal information and network.

It’s free because your personal information is used for advertising

The reason that Facebook is a free application is due to the trade-off you make. Put simply, you tell Facebook your personal information, including how you interact with your friends and what you are searching for, and in return you get targeted advertising to match your profile.

This is not a new thing of course as many other companies use this approach, and have been for years. Target Corporation for example used the loyalty card of American shoppers to find out what they need next (Read her how the predicated a teenager’s pregnancy before the grandpa to be knew).

Google was one of the first companies to exploit this process in their products and nowadays it has become the core way of making money for many sites and apps.

So what can you do about it? Nothing really to be honest as you already have done enough to be one of the “profiles” in the vast databases of those companies, a last resort option would be to get rid of all your online accounts (Google, Facebook etc) , use the private browsing function and avoid the popular search engines and websites. However that won’t make the internet a lot of fun now would it?

Don’t be impressed by the Likes of companies and products

You know those competitions you are all participating in by sharing, liking and commenting to the displeasure of your digital marketing friends? Well most of them are fake competition and are actually used to create a honey pot full of Facebook users that can then be targeted by other companies in the future to get them to like other future Facebook pages as part of a competition.

But that’s not fair!? Not at all, but Facebook doesn’t check to see if any competition prizes are actually given away and in fairness it would be impossible.

So what can you do? Well, before you enter, make sure that the competition is being run by a reliable company – check their user profiles first, many fake competitions use a real company’s logo but end up being a community fan page for example.

That’s it, your 3 Facebook warnings that you should be aware of!

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Antonie Geerts
Originally from the Netherlands, Antonie has worked within the Technology sector for the past 15 years initially as strategic adviser to the Dutch Government he came to Ireland in 2004.Through his understanding of technology and his passion for Digital Marketing Antonie was drawn to the field of Digital communications, including Search Engine Optimisation and Web Analytics fields. Apart from advising clients such as Microsoft, KPMG, ESB Electric Ireland and many more for Arekibo, Antonie also lectures for both The Irish Times and the Irish Internet Association