STUDY: Many Users Still Don’t Understand How Facebook Makes Money

By Justin Lafferty 

Despite several new advertising methods Facebook has rolled out over the past couple of years, many users don’t understand how the site makes money, according to a new study by The Search Agency.

The Search Agency, in a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, found that among 2,006 U.S. adult Internet users, only 54 percent understood how Facebook made money. That figure is broken down to 57 percent men and 51 percent women.

Additionally, only 70 percent of online adults polled know how to post to someone’s timeline: 76 percent of women said they do, compared to 64 percent of men.

Keith Wilson, The Search Agency’s vice president of agency products, spoke with AllFacebook about the knowledge gap:

It’s really incumbent upon advertisers, and publishers, as well, to help educate consumers on how data can be used in a useful fashion. That’s the key thing. Everyone says, “Oh, this ad is not relevant to me.” But if you get ads that are more relevant to you and you understand the relevance based on the queries that you’re making … there is relevance there. They’d rather be served that ad than the alternative, which is something more spammy.

Other interesting findings from the study:

  • 37 percent of men polled know the maximum length of a tweet, compared with 27 percent of women.
  • 48 percent of women know what it means to pin something, compared with 42 percent of men.
  • 22 percent of people polled have clicked on an ad through a search engine (29 percent of people from the South said they have).
  • Millennials are nearly twice as likely to click on a search engine ad, in comparison to older users.
  • More than one-third of those questioned believe search engines sell personal data to marketers.

Readers: Do you know how Facebook makes money?

Money image courtesy of Shutterstock.