Facebook Launches a "Page" Recommendation Engine
With millions and millions of its user's "likes" to tap, Facebook has officially launched a personalized "Discover Facebook Pages" feature. It visually displays screens and scrolls of Facebook pages, providing an easy way to browse through all kinds of Facebook Pages and subscribe to them along the way.
While no one but Facebook quite knows how the algorithms work, the pages displayed are obviously based on the user's demographics, geography and friend's interests ("likes"). But they don't appear to be a mirror reflection of these attributes. Facebook appears to be attempting to introduce its members to pages that fall outside strict behavioral targeting and into a wider range of topics that might appeal. Users can browse by category as well as choose by country.
This Facebook page "recommendation engine" can provide marketers a way to grow their page fan-based by being more visible. While it appears that it favors already popular pages, The Inside Facebook blog suggests that by potentially factoring such page activity like Likes per Post it could help uncover the "best" pages, not just the most popular. That means, the level of fan activity, not just the number of fans, becomes more important.
Facebook will undoubtedly reveal a bit more about the feature, and marketers should delve into where their pages sit within the Page Browser for their relevant demographics.
While being popular always seems to be best in any search algorithm, we suggest that it becomes even more important now to target attracting the "most relevant" followers. Considering the vast amount of information Facebook has about its users, you can bet that "relevance" will be based on a wide range of behaviors by those users. In other words, followers who actually interact with your page becomes a bigger factor in where your page appears in the personalized Facebook Page Browser.
[ Resources for you ]
Facebook's Discover Facebook Pages
Facebook's Announcement of its Page Browser
Do Not Track Registry Coming?
A "do not track" registry may be in the air. And it is one more pressure point for U. S. marketers who are feeling the heat from regulator inquiries and increasing numbers of major media reports about consumer privacy online.
FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz threw out the possibility of a "do not track" list as one method for consumers to control behavioral tracking by advertisers at a recent U.S. Senate's Commerce Committee hearing. The purpose of the hearing was to tease out what consumers actually know about how they are tracked online.
Just days before that hearing, the U.S. House conducted their own on the proposed "Best Practices Act," officially known as - get ready… - the "Building Effective Strategies To Promote Responsibility Accountability Choice Transparency Innovation Consumer Expectations and Safeguards Act.”
In both hearings the FTC testified about their major emphasis in recent months on reviewing a wide range of consumer privacy and data security regulations.
The FTC expects to release a comprehensive report and recommendations this fall. In a sneak preview the FTC says it anticipates it to include recommendations for:
- privacy and security protection in everyday business practices
- simple and informed consumer privacy choices
- improved privacy notifications
- opt out options, such as the do not track registry and/or browser-level options
Zombie Cookies Might Be Risky Business
[ Resources for you ]
Congress Explores Consumer Privacy Protection; New Privacy Legislation and FTC Testimony Indicates Direction of Privacy Regulation
Are you or your ad network provider using zombie cookies to track users?
Quantcast, the popular metrics company, and a host of its clients are being hauled into court. A California lawsuit claims companies using Quantcast's Flash "zombie cookies" to track web users behaviors are violating federal and state computer intrusion, hacking, eavesdropping and fair trade laws.
These zombie cookies (also called LSO's) are stored in Adobe's Flash player and they re-create cookies intentionally deleted by users. Cookies can be re-created within seconds of a user deleting their cookies.
The suit names Hulu, ABC, MTV, NBC, Scribed and others. The attorney filing the complaint was instrumental in a $9.5 million settlement from Facebook over it's Beacon program and is seeking class-action status for this one.
A similar suit has been filed against Disney, Warner Bros, Ustream, SodaHead and more for spying on kids by using an ad widget made by Clearspring Technologies that track kids' activity once they leave Clearspring partner sites. The suit claims personally identifiable information including, age, gender, video habits, race, geographic and more is being collected and sold.
The parents behind the Clearspring suit cite a 2009 study out of UC Berkeley about Flash cookies and their privacy implications.
[ Resources for you ]
Flash Cookies and Privacy Study