There’s less traffic flowing from some websites to Facebook, according to some web traffic experts – and there’s a specific reason why.
Retailers have stopped sending as much information to them, because they are wary of Facebook’s efforts to track users across the web. The retailers have some basis to their fear. When Facebook gathers enough data, it may be able to target in-network ads with better precision and results vs. other advertising platforms.
Tracking online behavior all over. Most consumers would be surprised to know that the social networks continue to track their online behavior even when they are off the site. But the practice has been going on for a few years. Within the last three months, these networks began to use the data in order to create detailed user profiles to serve up better targeting tools to their advertisers. With personalized marketing messages based on website visits, click-through rates and purchases are likely to be higher.
But some retailers are calling foul. They worry that the browsing data they will be provided will be used to display ads for competitors. As a result, they’ve changed the way that their websites deliver information to Facebook.
A complicated relationship. The latest situation underscores the nature of the relationship between Facebook and website owners. Its equal parts love and hate. Both publishers and online retailers have benefitted from traffic from the social network. Retailers in particular have benefitted from data provided by Facebook to track customers.
But they are also very wary of Facebook’s ability to gather lots of data about users. It’s clear that success in business in the near future will come from the richness and accuracy of data – and Facebook is pulling ahead in that race. Facebook knows more about its customers than other websites – including their real names.
Although Facebook says it hasn’t begun using data from the other sites, retailers aren’t taking any risks.