Facebook Looking to Better Target Ads will Track Non-Members

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Facebook's revenue comes solely from advertisements. Like them or hate them, ads are a big part of the internet being free. And now Facebook is looking to expand their ad network a bit more. In speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Facebook's vice president of ads and business platform, Andrew Bowsworth stated "publishers and app developers have some users who aren't Facebook users, we think we can do a better job powering those ads." Essentially what Facebook is going to do is using cookies, "like" buttons, and plug-ins that are embedded on third-party sites to track both members and non-members. This will make it easier for Facebook to track those that are not members and serve more relevant ads to them. This morning the company began displaying a banner notification on its News Feed for those in Europe, alerting them to the use of cookies, as European regulators has directed them too.

Facebook believes that they can do a better job at using the data they already have on their 1.7 billion members and non-members that visit their site, to better target advertising to them. Targeted advertising is a big deal, because it means that users are more likely to click on those ads, which in turn brings Facebook more cash. For example, if Facebook knows that you have been searching for a new smartphone to buy recently, and it shows you an ad for a new car, you likely won't click on it. But if you are shown an ad for T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint or Verizon, then you are much more likely to click on it. Making it a pretty big deal for Facebook.

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Both Facebook and Google already do a lot of targeted advertising, and Facebook wants to do a bit more now. Even though Facebook's use of cookies have been under fire by regulators in Europe, they are still using them. Facebook was ordered by a French data protection agency to allow users to opt-out of sharing their personal data with advertisers, and to better inform their non-members that what they do on Facebook pages was being tracked. Hence the new banner on the Facebook News Feed today for those in Europe.