Facebook to Track Purchases You Make after Viewing Adverts

Tech Crunch
For advertisers, the results are always the most important thing. They tend to spend a lot of money advertising on social media services like Facebook, but they need to know how well these adverts are doing to see if they can pinpoint where all these purchases are coming from. There's no point on spending a lot of money to advertise on one service when a different service brings more customers in. Now Facebook has signed partnerships with Square and other GPS services so they can track their users to see if they visit the advertised places after viewing them on Facebook.

It can't be denied that there is something incredibly creepy about this. The data they provide is, fortunately, anonymous but that isn't going to stop some people from feeling uncomfortable about it. If you don't want Facebook selling the information of where you've been then you can block certain adverts and/or turn off the location services. This will make Facebook less practical in some ways, but the location services aren't necessary if you just use it to chat with friends and share stuff every now and then. For general Facebook users who don't care about being tracked, this is going to make very little difference, but for Facebook themselves, this new Offline Conversions API could be very useful. It'll help Facebook compete with Google and will allow them to provide their customers with more accurate data. The advertisers won't necessarily need to come to Facebook themselves. but their data will be provided either way. Where users turn their location data off, Facebook will still provide samples as they will be taking information straight from the tills as well as using the GPS and radio signals among other things to work out which shops you've actually gone into. It does make you feel like you're being watched all the time, but that is just the way things are going to go.

There has been a positive outcome from this though. The ad carousels on Facebook can now show you information on the closest of these shops to you. They will show you a map and provide you with directions as well as giving you their phone number. If a shop is small and new, then this could help them get business as well as help them provided they're willing to pay for the advertisers.

The Store Visits metric option will appear on advertisers dashboards within the next few months.

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