Social Media Newsfeed: Facebook Ad-Targeting | IRS Email Snooping

Facebook’s Partner Categories Enable Brands to Target Ads to Users Based on Activity Across Web (AllFacebook) Facebook’s ad-targeting capabilities took a giant step forward with Wednesday’s launch of partner categories, which allow brands on the social network to show ads to users based not only on their Facebook activity, but their activity across the Web, via both desktop and mobile, and even their offline purchases and tendencies. Partner categories will be available to advertisers in the United States via power editor and the ads application-programming interface starting Wednesday.

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Facebook’s Partner Categories Enable Brands to Target Ads to Users Based on Activity Across Web (AllFacebook)
Facebook’s ad-targeting capabilities took a giant step forward with Wednesday’s launch of partner categories, which allow brands on the social network to show ads to users based not only on their Facebook activity, but their activity across the Web, via both desktop and mobile, and even their offline purchases and tendencies. Partner categories were available to advertisers in the United States via power editor and the ads application-programming interface starting Wednesday. Inside Facebook Grocery habits, occupation and car ownership are among the new options self-serve advertisers have access to on the social network. Partner categories are similar to Facebook’s broad category targeting, but they are created with data from third parties that many advertisers already work with, Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon. The New York Times/Bits Blog Optimal, a San Francisco-based company that helps brands target their advertisements on Facebook, said the new product would allow companies to more precisely aim messages at the right customers at the right time. A barbecue sauce maker, for instance, could target customers who buy meat every week. Mashable As with other Custom Audience tools, the system purports to protect users’ privacy with a double-blind system. The data companies do not identify users by name to Facebook, and Facebook does not identify users by name to advertisers. GigaOM The project will launch initially with 500 categories that advertisers can target, like “frozen food buyers” or “full-size sedan buyers.” Jeff Roberts wrote recently about the company’s goals when it comes to advertising, and how the company will have to balance its efforts to make money with both concerns from privacy advocates about how user data is being appropriated, and also user distaste with ads filling their feeds.

IRS Thinks it Doesn’t Need a Warrant to Read Your Email (The Huffington Post)
IRS documents released Wednesday suggest that the tax collection agency believes it can read American citizens’ emails without a warrant. The files were released to the American Civil Liberties Union under a Freedom of Information Act request. CNET Newly disclosed documents prepared by IRS lawyers says that Americans enjoy “generally no privacy” in their email, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages and similar online communications — meaning that they can be perused without obtaining a search warrant signed by a judge. That places the IRS at odds with a growing sentiment among many judges and legislators who believe that Americans’ email messages should be protected from warrantless search and seizure. NBCNews.com In the case, the United States v. Warshak, government investigators said they had read 27,000 emails without getting a search warrant first. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled Dec. 10, 2010, threw out the emails as evidence.

Twitter Taking Mobile Advertising By Storm and Invading Google’s Turf (AllTwitter)
According to a report by IDC, “mobile publishers like Facebook, Pandora and Twitter are gaining control over the display advertising market,” snagging 52 percent of the mobile advertising space that Google and others previously controlled. “Mobile ad networks are losing market share to publishers, and we expect them to lose even more going forward,” said Karsten Weide, vice president of media and entertainment at IDC.

Bitcoin Crashes, Losing Nearly Half of its Value in Six Hours (ars technica)
On Wednesday afternoon, the Bitcoin bubble appears to have burst. As of this writing, its current value was around $160 — down from a high of $260, and some redditors have taken solace in a comment thread entitled “Hold Spartans.”