Facebook Launching New Product to Help Brands Get Feedback
Facebook has over 1.19 billion monthly active users and has vast knowledge of what those users like, say and do. Now, the social network wants to let companies tap that knowledge by getting feedback on their products. Facebook announced Tuesday that it is launching a product called Topic Data that can help companies know what its users are saying about their brands, events and activities, which will ultimately help them refine their marketing strategies.
“This is in response to interest we’ve been getting from marketers,” said Matthew Idema, the company’s director of ads product marketing. “They’ve been asking us to provide insights to help them generate more effective campaigns on and off of Facebook.”
Facebook said the new product is designed in a way to keep the information anonymized and aggregated, and it won’t disclose the data of any individual or group of particular users.
Facebook has already been offering advertising to companies to reach the intended audience, however, this is the first time it is promising insights they can use to develop products or decide which audiences to target.
For example, with Topic Data, a fashion retailer can see demographic information about the clothing items people are talking about. The business might use that information to decide which products to stock, or to identify potential customers it hadn’t previously considered.
“While this type of data has been available from third parties before, the sample size was often too small to be significant and determining demographics was nearly impossible,” the company said in the blog post. “With topic data, we’ve grouped data and stripped personal information from Facebook activity (not including Messenger) to offer insights on all the activity around a topic.”
While Topic Data provides guidance for marketers, it can’t be used to target ads directly, Facebook notes.
To turn data into actionable insights, Facebook has partnered with DataSift, a trusted social-data company. In exchange for helping it develop and scale topic data, Facebook is giving DataSift access to extract data from the social network and make it available to analytics firms for whatever price it wants, who will then analyze and sell that data to their clients.
Initially, Topic Data will only be available to a limited number of DataSift’s partners in the US and UK. Facebook said it plans to expand its availability “at a later date.”