We asked the question; Facebook Dying in 2019?
Social media has been ingrained into our cultural fabric. Entire generations have never lived a day without the internet. Information at our fingertips, but what has been the cost to users? As we have discussed in previous blogs the internet is not free. Everything has a cost. In the case of social media platforms like Facebook that cost is our digital profile.
What is Our Social Media Platform Used For on Facebook?
Facebook is facing increased negative feedback for the way that they are using their users information. A new campaign is now targeting Facebook exclusively, telling users how to delete their profiles in three easy steps (You can do it here). The movement #DeleteFacebook is gaining momentum and it is a nightmare for the platform.
What has changed in 2019? You can now select the data that you allow Facebook to use to profile you for advertisers. By default they are all conveniently “active.” Which means you actually have to turn these features “off” or “delete” them in order to not have your profile information used for advertising.
Is it Always Bad to Be Profiled On Social Media?
Yes, I asked the question. Is it always a bad thing to be profiled? My answer is no. If I am seeing ads for brands that I like, or sites that I frequent, I don’t feel like it is a terrible thing that they target me for advertising. I am also a marketing person so for me, I accept that this is a good use of advertising dollars by companies that I have shown interest in.
On the flip side of this, my information was shared with many brands that I have absolutely NO interest in. For instance I will never buy a Maserati. I have no idea why they were targeting me? Is it because I am a business owner? They obviously hit the WRONG target when they included me in their audience.
So if you don’t want to go extreme and completely delete your account, you have the option of combing through your preference to control the way your information is being used.
How to check your Facebook Advertising Preference:
Step one: Login to your Facebook profile.
Step two: Go to the Settings Menu
Step three: Scroll down until you see “Ad Preferences “
Step four: Look through the categories and you will see how Facebook is using your information to profile you for advertisers. It is sorted into the following categories:
- Your interests
- Your information
- Ad settings
- Hide ad topics
Why do we now have choices in how our information is used for Ads?
The positive thing about the European Privacy Act is that mega social platforms like Google and Facebook are now subject to privacy regulations. Now, the recently introduced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is forcing social media giants like Facebook to tighten up their policies, protect their users’ info. This means that they have to be more transparent about how your information is being used. When they are found to be in violation of your privacy rights, they are subject to some pretty major fines overseas. Just this month tech giant Google was hit with their first major fine for violations in France. You can read the article in the Washington Post HERE. The take away from this is that there are finally consequences for privacy violations. This particular incident will cost Google a cool $57 million dollars.
New Privacy Laws Going into Effect
These settings are being deployed state-side as well because of the privacy laws passed in the State of California in 2018 that will go into effect on January 1st, 2020. Facebook and others know that the change is coming, and that they need to change the way they present the argument to use our information to profile users to allow advertisers to target users based on interests. That doesn’t mean they are publicly advertising that they are making the changes, but they are hoping that their users continue to “opt-in” to the profiling options we discussed above. So do the businesses that advertise on Facebook.
The Take Away for Facebook in 2019
Users are going to gain more control of their profile preference for advertising in 2019. In addition we will see more transparency for who is using our information. That information is becoming easier for users because Facebook must create an environment that meets the new rules and regulations by the time they go into effect in 2020 (See our blog on this topic here.)
It is uncertain if as a culture we will move away from Facebook in 2019. Facebook has a major PR issue on their hands, but people are so emerged into the platform it makes it hard to get rid of it for many users. Especially for business owners like me who use the platform for both myself and my clients.
Need help with Facebook? Contact us HERE
More about author Elizabeth Orley