Using Facebook Connect to Target Ads On Your Website

Since its inception, there have been many implementations of Facebook Connect, most notably CNN’s use of it to create a live, co-viewing experience for the inauguration. The implementations to this point have been used to socialize non-social websites, create co-viewing experiences and to increase value of a website by importing a users social network. I have not seen Facebook Connect used as a way to create hyper-targeted ads on those third-party websites utilizing Facebook Connect data portability.

In Facebook’s Terms Of Use document, they state:

“Facebook Connect (“Connect”) enables participating third party websites to work just like Facebook Platform applications. Once you allow a third party website to connect with Facebook, you will be able to use your Facebook login information to log into that website. The third party website will be able to: generate and publish news feed and other stories about actions you take on their website; access Facebook information related to you (including your profile information, friends, and privacy settings) so you can use your Facebook information on the third party site; and allow you to interact with your friends on the website. In order to make Connect possible, you agree to allow Facebook to check your Facebook cookies when you are visiting participating third party websites, and allow Facebook to receive information concerning the actions you take on those third party websites. In addition, once you allow a participating third party website to connect with Facebook, you agree to allow Facebook and such third party website to generate and publish news feed and other stories about actions you take on the website without any additional permission. In the event you no longer want the third party website to publish stories about you, you can always disable this feature by changing your application settings.”

The important language to note here is, “third party websites [have the ability to] access Facebook information related to you (including your profile information, friends, and privacy settings)”. If the third party sites have the ability to access this level of data, then why can’t they serve ads based on this information on their websites?  This would seem like an obvious use and benefit of partnering with Facebook to bring FB Connect to your website. While these ads would not necessarily be contextually relevant based on the content of the website, they would be extemely targeted to the user. Actually, the data from Facebook could be layered onto contextually relevant data to make these ads impossible for the user not to click.

This could work either as a revenue share between the third party site and Facebook or simply a added value to the site for implementing Facebook Connect further expanding in socialization of the web.

In a time when sites are faltering, due to their lack of targeted ads (see Digg), this would be an ideal way to make ads more targeted, increasing relevance for the user and ultimately revenue for the site.

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