Facebook allows MNCs to make profits from 150M members private data

February 2nd, 2009 - 2:20 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 2 (ANI): In a bid to create revenue from Facebook’’s 150 million members, the founder of the popular social networking site has created one of the world’’s largest market research databases.

With the move, Mark Zuckerberg has finally taken a step to cash-in on Facebook, which was once valued at 15 billion dollars.

Facebook will soon allow multinational companies to selectively target its members in order to research the appeal of new products.

Thus, companies could be posing questions to specially selected members based on such intimate details as whether they are single or married and even whether they are gay or straight.

In the past, Facebook has struggled to make money from advertising.

And the company has now been demonstrating the benefits of its new instant polling tool to some of the most influential business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Randi Zuckerberg, Facebook’’s global markets director and sister of founder Mark Zuckerberg, 24, said that multinational companies were impressed by the ability to receive real-time feedback from the site’’s millions of users.

“I had tonnes 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,” the Telegraph quoted her as saying.

She added: “Davos is really a key place to launch an instant tool like this. It’’s beneficial for everyone to see us as a global community of 150m users. The vast majority are not just college students in the US talking about things in their bedrooms. We are showing how we are a serious and insightful community.”

Facebook stereotyped as a website used by students or schoolchildren, now promotes users as “serious and insightful” adults to advertise its members as a useful demographic for marketers.

According to marketing experts, Facebooks vast amount of personal information, together with the loyalty of its users, could be worth “untold millions” to companies engaged in market research.

In fact, Facebook has already sold the new polling system, called engagement ads, to CareerBuilder, a global graduate recruitment company, and AT&T, the US telecoms giant, is trialling the system.

A Facebook spokesman said that the company’’s advertising department was marketing the new service to thousands of companies worldwide, and was hoping that the polls would go live this spring. (ANI)

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