Facebook's New Like Button Will Power A Behavioral Ad Network

The new Facebook like button that was rumored to be launched at this year’s f8 will power a new enhanced behavioral ad network (see update below) according to the Financial Times. As FT states, “data from these interactions would be used to target them with related adverts once they return to Facebook.com”. Details on the system are extremely limited, however we’ll have the full details once announced at Wednesday’s f8 event (see update below).

While this form of advertising targeting is used by a number of large ad networks, for Facebook to use this advanced form of targeting will start putting the company in a interesting privacy position. It also sounds as though this could be tied to the new privacy policy that was rolled out recently and has been criticized by numerous privacy advocates.

Facebook has demonstrated a willingness to push the boundaries of user privacy in the past, especially with the launch of Beacon, and it sounds like they may be pushing the boundaries once again. Whatever is being announced, we won’t have to wait long to find out the full details. It’s also important to understand that this information will be based on users clicking on Facebook “Like” buttons, so it requires user action.

Do you care what type of information Facebook collects about you? Do you want more targeted advertisements?

Update
Barry Schnitt of Facebook posted a clarification in the comments stating “the Financial Times incorrectly suggested that Facebook is launching a behavioral ad targeting at f8, our upcoming developer conference”. Additionally, “we have no announcements or changes planned to our ad offering or ad policies.” That would suggest that no behavioral ad network will launch in the immediate future which would also suggest that there isn’t really a story here. Facebook has confirmed that “Like” will become the new phrase instead of “Become A Fan”, but aside from that, there isn’t a new ad network being launched.

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