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Facebook’s Data Firehose is Open to Advertisers

Crossing the Streams

techcrunch.com
If that title makes absolutely no sense to you, worry not, I am on hand to explain. A data firehose is a basically just another term for a social media data stream, ie all the data and content that reaches the user base. The companies use the firehose for analytics and just about everything else.

Twitter’s firehouse has been available to advertisers for a while now but Facebook have historically been a lot more precious about theirs. Now though, the social media giant have introduced a new analytics tool called Topic Data, which will make their firehose available to select advertisers.

Of course, the information Facebook have at their disposal is a lot more detailed and private than Twitter, so this new tool is geared towards sharing anonymous, aggregated interpretations of the data, rather than the data itself.  

What this means for advertisers is that it will now be that much easier for them to research user responses to things and gear their advertising towards what is most likely to get a strong response. They will also be able to ‘field test’ new campaign and market research ideas on the site much more easily. Facebook has a far, far higher user engagement count than Twitter does, so it makes sense that they would go this route.

Of course, even with the anonymity, Facebook will still be sharing user information that was intended as private and there’s currently no way to opt out, which might well upset some users. The information isn’t being used in any nefarious, invasive way, it isn’t even direct targeted advertising, more a way of tweaking content and trajectory in order to increase maximum appeal, there’s even the possibility that the information will lead to the invention of future products.

Social media is vital for market research in this day and age, and while this new arm is currently very limited, expect it to expand as time goes by. At this stage it’s almost as if marketers are being allowed to look at Facebook’s data stream through a pinhole camera, the results of this will determine how close they will ultimately fly to the sun.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Facebook’s Data Firehose is Open to Advertisers Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, March 16, 2015 Rating: 5
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