The Role of Social Media in Extending Financial Opportunities - FinTech Examples

Facebook alone gathers 98 personal data points for targeted ads

The number of social media users worldwide has reached 2.34 billion and is expected to grow to ~2.95 billion by 2020. Social media users generate 500 million tweets every day, and share 1.3 million pieces of content on Facebook every minute of every day, not mentioning other widely adopted channels. Two things allowed social media to become a powerful machine: the level of engagement reached through scale, and permissions.

While the level of engagement on social media channels has been quiet explored, permissions are a bit more curious. The average user will spend over five years of his/her life on social media, getting the latest news, engaging with friends and acquaintances, etc., paying a rarely-spoken-about price in exchange – precious personal data. How much does Facebook, for example, know about its users? According to its new targeted ad education portal and updated ad preference settings, Facebook puts together 98 personal data points that it knows about its users. For those really curious about all 98 data points Facebook is using to target ads, here’s the full list pulled by equally curious people:

  1. Location
  2. Age
  3. Generation
  4. Gender
  5. Language
  6. Education level
  7. Field of study
  8. School
  9. Ethnic affinity
  10. Income and net worth
  11. Home ownership and type
  12. Home value
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