Facebook’s Catch-up to Know You: Changes Are on the Way to Please Marketers

Misc, Privacy Issues

We’ve all heard the news: Facebook went public and now have some serious reporting to do for his shareholders. After the first days of Facebook going public, a little tsunami has gone through the Internet news as the stock shares of Facebook went very low compared to its initial listing. But after all, with almost 1 billion (soon to be) members, Facebook has published its first quarterly report and it came up that investors were quite happy with the figures. Learn about the latest Facebook changes.

Subtle changes to the Facebook platform

But have you noticed the number of subtle changes that Facebook have brought to the platform lately? Not only are they subtle, but we can count a lot of them. Indeed, Facebook is no more than a social network where people hang out sharing and playing the “voyeur” into someone else’s life- it is now an actual business: which means it has to be very good at reporting success to its investors. The withdrawal of a $10 ad budget from General Motors right before Facebook IPO is a clear sign that companies are doubtful about how efficient Facebook Ads can be: indeed Facebook’s business model, so far, is mainly based on ads.

When talking about ads, advertisers want measurable indicators showing them how wide (or narrow) the reach of their campaign is. So as to back this: you surely have noticed that, in groups, Facebook is now showing the number of people who have seen one post. But the same principle also applies to pages since they came up with more detailed Fan Pages statistics.

Moving towards “real persons” social media platform

But if we want to move back to the topic of this blog, which is about “online anonymity guide”, then Facebook is moving more and more into a “real persons” social media platform. Indeed, while before, one could open an account with Facebook and use whatever fancy (or promotional) pseudo they can think of, it is now clear that Facebook is catching up with putting an actual person/physical name into all the pseudos.

Facebook changes – Verification process

First, for people who are opening accounts on Facebook, they’ve set up some filter for checking if your name is actually…your name. If for some reasons, the name you are entering during the signup process triggers some “red flag” into Facebook name verification, then Facebook will launch some verification process that may be cumbersome.

But the checking process even goes further: Facebook is clearly asking for your friends to confirm (or not) if you are using your actual name. Indeed, they send some requests to your friend asking this question, reassuring you that your answer would be kept anonymous. While you can still answer by “I don’t want to answer”, it is clear that there’s a high number of people who’ll soon receive an inquiry to change their name on Facebook in the coming months (I wish I could show you a screenshot of that question asked by Facebook).

What is the purpose of the modifications

But what’s the purpose of all those Facebook changes: it’s pretty simple. Facebook wants to become a huge database of actual people that marketers can tap into. The finer your profile on this social network is, the more interesting you become to marketers, and the bigger the paycheck for Facebook. So I guess, we can expect a lot of changes within Facebook in the next couple of months that would “invade” our privacy.

Do you think this actually matters to you as a Facebook user?

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