back to article Facebook preps ad network to TARGET YOU WHERE YOU LIVE

Competition for mobile advertising dollars is set to intensify as Facebook joins Google, Apple and Twitter by launching a mobile ad network that generates revenue when users access apps outside its domain. At the same time Facebook is also planning to expand into location-based mobile advertising after preparing the ground with …

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"Make News Feed Better"

Then there is their new "make news feed better" initiative, which is solely about advertising. The user is presented with a series of posts, and asked to rate them on how much they look like adverts. It is clearly an attempt to explore making adverts look more like posts from your friends (so perhaps more likely to be read, though that depends on one's friends), and as such, any user's civic duty is to skew the feedback with as much randomness as feasibly possible.

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Re: "Make News Feed Better"

...user's civic duty is to skew the feedback with as much randomness as feasibly possible.

cf. "wisdom of crowds" random noise will tend to be self-cancelling. It would make more sense to start a campaign to encourage users to always select the first option offered. Or not to use facebook so much.

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Re: "Make News Feed Better"

Good point well made, statistically speaking.

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Re: "Make News Feed Better"

I don't know about anyone else, but when I start seeing adverts based on my browsing history etc. it really fucking creeps me out.

Nothing is more likely to make me not buy something.

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Uninstalled

Thanks for the reminder and to disable all location "services".

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What's the point of that?

Surely no sensible person puts their real location on FB or allows it to access GPS?

Or maybe the ads are targetted at non-sensible persons?

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Re: What's the point of that?

Plenty enough of those, and they're inevitably the best people to throw adverts at in the first place... And besides, even if you turn the Facebook app's location-related menu options off, it still accesses GPS if enabled at the system level. Go figure.

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Re: What's the point of that?

"Surely no sensible person puts their real location on FB"

Or personal details?

(next Twitter/LinkedIn user that moans about Facebook needs to look at the twat in the mirror)

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Re: What's the point of that?

Surely no sensible person uses FB

There. Fixed it for you

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Re: What's the point of that?

I don't use Facebook, but I have an account with my real name and the minimal data needed to identify me. This is so that if anybody with a similar name puts stuff on Facebook that someone might think is from me, I can show them my empty account. I did this because yes, there are several people with a similar real name, none of whom I would ever want to be associated with in any way.

My own view is that it's grotesque that Facebook was ever allowed to exist in its present form. If the Government was running it, it would be described as a cross between the Stasi and Disneyland. But because it's run by an "entrepreneur" with a very interesting corporate structure, it gets the capitalist let-out.

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Re: What's the point of that?

The Facebook app for Android requests the ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION and ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION permissions. Installing it at all allows it to access GPS. The only possible way to not allow it to find your location is to not install it. (IIRC, Wifi positioning is always enabled on Android, and if you have both wifi and GPS turned off, it will use your last known location.)

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Gav

Re: What's the point of that?

If you have FB installed on your android phone then you already have allowed it access to your GPS. Thanks to Google's pathetic permission management within Android you have no option to refuse it.

FB's list of required permissions has increased with each update. The only option is to remove FB from your phone, which I have.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's the point of that?

"Surely no sensible person uses FB"

Plenty of people do use it very effectively. If you're in the creative industry, design or photography for example, then it's another tool to help you make contact with people, get jobs and make sales. I've sold more photo licenses through contacts that have found me through social networks than any other method. I've been asked to submit images for a few fine-art organisations for limited edition runs on my images, only because they found my images on social networks. Its another tool to ensure you can make a second income through your creativity.

However like any tool FB is dangerous in the wrong hands, sadly FB is a like a Stanley Knife, anyone can buy one but not everybody should!

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Permissions

The Facebook app for Android requests the ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION and ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION permissions. Installing it at all allows it to access GPS. The only possible way to not allow it to find your location is to not install it.

This isn't true, although I certainly wouldn't expect the average user to know this. There are apps for individually restricting permissions. And Cyanogenmod comes with it build in. Whether the Facebook app still works with these turned off, I don't know.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's the point of that?

I don't use Facebook, but I have an account with my real name and the minimal data needed to identify me.

Pretty much my situation. I have (two) accounts, under slightly different variations of my name. One for family and one for work friends. None of the personal information on either of them is accurate. Birth date, place of birth and residence are all lies.

If it weren't the only way to see what others post, I would not have an account at all. The user interface is so abysmally bad, it's almost not worth using it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's the point of that?

"If you're in the creative industry" - aka the kind of person who made AdBlock a necessity

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Selling to the sellers

> expand into location-based mobile advertising

An advertisement is an advertisement. Most people have seen enough of them (or soon will have) to become totally immune to their powers. Either that, or the more impulsive and impressionable people who will forever be influenced by them will go broke.

Either way, the point of new advertising technology is not to sell more stuff to the consumer: we either ignore them, block them or would buy whether the ad. appeared on a mobile phone screen or on a billboard. No, the point of wizzy new technology is to convince those people who want to advertise their products to buy advertising space. That's the only real sale (as anyone who's watched Mad Men will surely have worked out) that ever takes place in the advertising world.

So add adverts to apps. Add location awareness, with local discounts, "today only" offers, e-vouchers, wowchers, "likes", groupons and all the other stuff. It makes no difference - I'll still ignore them. If I want something, I'll still search for the best price and most trustworthy vendor: not for whatever pops up on my screen as I walk past a coffee shop. If vendors want to spend their money, it would be better spent on improving the product and lowering the price.

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I have never bought anything because of an ad on facebook. If I notice them at all it is to have a laugh at how stupid it is. If they do manage to mix the ad into the content I am interested in, it creates an extra step for me to complete my task and so all it does is annoy me and I have a negative view of that ad and by extension the product. These people really need some lessions in basic HCI.

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Titles are for toffs.

Lets see,.... Nope still not missing it and the seven kinds of stupid it breeds.

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Why should Google care if their market share for mobile ads is falling?

It isn't because Google is getting less mobile revenue, undoubtedly they're getting more. It is because others like Facebook who didn't monetize mobile in the past are doing so now. The "pie" is getting bigger, and others are growing faster than Google so their share is seen to decline. It is the same phenomenon as Apple's declining share of smartphone (but not mobile) market share.

The real problem is that as everyone throws more and more ads in the faces of mobile users, they may get sick of it since there are generally options with few/no ads. Maybe there isn't an alternative for Facebook beyond quitting it, but if WhatsApp started advertising to people there are plenty of free messaging alternatives, you can pay a few dollars for the "premium" version of many apps to avoid advertising, etc.

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