Why Facebook is free

There has been a lot of commotion recently regarding the Facebook drama… and honestly, it’s time that it ends. So Facebook has your data… did you think you were getting the service for free? Did you think that Mark hires 25,000 people to run and maintain the site without asking for a penny in return? No. Sorry, but he doesn’t.

Facebook works by selling ads, as he had to explain during his congress talks several times. Your data ensures that these ads are tailored to the perfect audience. They know how to target 18-25 year old women from East London who have an interest in homewares and D.I.Y. because guess what, you told them that. You told them your age, and where you live, and you liked D.I.Y. pages on Facebook. And secretly, you’re thankful that they know that info. You appreciate being shown ads that are relevant to you i.e. when you see an ad for a power drill or paint tins, then you’re actually interested because you’re in the progress of doing up your flat, and that information is useful.

What is frustrating, really annoying and a total pain is ads that are totally irrelevant. Ads for things you’d never buy or are totally against, for example advertising meat products to a vegan or vegetarian person. You’ve liked 10 pages on healthy lifestyles based on veganism and have been uploading pics with your new sweet potato based curries which are surprisingly delicious for 2 months. So why is Facebook showing you this terrible ad?

Well, they’re not. Because they have your data, they know you won’t react well to the ad so they don’t even bother targeting you. They sell this targetting to help ensure brands reach relevant audiences and that’s how Facebook makes money, and why lucky old you doesn’t have to pay a penny for it.

So next time you get mad because someone has your data, take a step back and realise that someone having your data or information can actually help you. Jump off the datageddon bandwagon and let’s see how a culture of data openness can benefit society by sharing insights and understandings of our world. For example, cancer patients are sharing their data globally to help researchers find cures for the over 100 types of cancer in the world. Sharing data and insights is literally saving lives as people pull hundreds of patient’s information together to track patterns. Listen to more on how sharing data can help in our podcast or message us at info@goatagency.com to see how our data can help you.