Wall Street Journal op-ed by Mark Zuckerberg explains how ad targeting works... again

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Facebook’s PR blitz continues, this time with an op-ed penned by Mark Zuckerberg in the Wall Street Journal titled “The Facts About Facebook.” In it he explains that many people have questioned his business model, so he felt the need to clarify things.

“Recently I’ve heard many questions about our business model, so I want to explain the principles of how we operate,” he opens.

He then goes on to expound at length about how ad targeting works and how Facebook doesn’t sell users’ data. Much of it is the same spiel he posted on his personal Facebook page late last December. Only the venue (and the audience) has changed.

"People assume we do things that we don’t do. For example, we don’t sell people’s data, even though it’s often reported that we do."

Instead of selling advertisers users' information, it collects data from them and puts it into categories. It then sells ads that target these categories to the industry.

It has all been said before and is really quite telling. It would seem that Zuck wants to make sure that the message he sent to users reaches its investors and shareholders who may not even have Facebook accounts. What better place to do that than the Wall Street Journal?

A quick look at Facebook stock over the last six months shows why Mr. Zuckerberg may have thought extra effort to reach investors was necessary. Just in the last half of 2018, stock plummetted over 40 percent, falling from a high of $217.50 to $124.06 per share. It rallied back in December after his Facebook post to users, but only to $131 by year’s end.

Shares continue to recover in 2019, but not at a very impressive rate having regained only seven points since the first of the year.

While his WSJ piece is worded as if he is addressing users, it is much more likely he is targeting a different group. There is no shortage of negative press that Zuck and company have to fend off. Everything from Cambridge Analytica to trouble with the FTC still looms over the platform's head. He has even admitted being “at war” with its bad publicity. So it should not come as a surprise this war is being waged on multiple fronts.

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ckm88

TS Addict
"We don't sell people's data, even though it's often reported that we do" - Lies. All lies.

On a side note, I need FB to hit 180 so I can get out of my stock option lol.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Ducky should just stop trying to 'splain things, IMO. It is difficult to understand him when he has his foot permanently embedded in his mouth. Besides, anyone who believes Ducky is in need of serious counseling, IMO. :laughing:
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Ducky should just stop trying to 'splain things, IMO. It is difficult to understand him when he has his foot permanently embedded in his mouth. Besides, anyone who believes Ducky is in need of serious counseling, IMO. :laughing:
He's lucid briefly, if you catch him, "on the bounce", so to speak. That's when he opens his mouth to change feet.

Otherwise it would be better to try and "fathom him", in the old ways, with a long, stout, pole.
 

seeprime

TS Guru
Facebook shares user data with "select" companies. These are usually the ones that pay at least $250,000 to display ads on Facebook, or it's other website. He's lying with the truth.

It's not unlike Bill Clinton saying "it all depends on what the meaning of is is."
 
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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
You know Zuck is getting to be just like another politician we all have heard of; he thinks repeating the same lie again and again will convince people that it's true! Maybe we can get a wall put up around Zuck!
 
S

senketsu

"Instead of selling advertisers users' information, it collects data from them and puts it into categories. It then sells ads that target these categories to the industry."
I fail to see how this is not selling users' information, "users' information" turns into 'user data', the data is then sold. User information equals user data does it not?
 

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
"Instead of selling advertisers users' information, it collects data from them and puts it into categories. It then sells ads that target these categories to the industry."
I fail to see how this is not selling users' information, "users' information" turns into 'user data', the data is then sold. User information equals user data does it not?
They don't sell the data, they sell access to the people they hold data on. The latter wouldn't work as a sustainable business model - once advertisers or brands had the data, they'd just keep using it over and over after a one-time payment. With FB's model, brands have to keep coming back to FB time and again in order to access the pool of people they wish to target.

Instead of Mars or Nestlé buying data on people who like chocolate and showing ads to those people, they say to Facebook "show this ad to people who like chocolate".
 

Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
Just in the last half of 2018, stock plummetted over 40 percent, falling from a high of $217.50 to $124.06 per share. It rallied back in December after his Facebook post to users, but only to $131 by year’s end.
You made it sound like it was all of Facebook's doing and had nothing to do with the picture that the whole economy had in the last half of 2018. This is too yellow.

Apple, Google, Amazon, Snapchat, Microsoft... they were all affected in the second half of 2018 (And more). Heck, look at base metal companies.