Facebook is hoping to exploit personal information on its 150 million members by creating the world’s largest market research database.
The company has struggled to make money with advertising. The new approach will be to allow multinational companies to target members to research the appeal of new products.
By targeting specially selected members the companies will be able to get marketing results. After all the details are already part of the site’s member profile pages.
The Telegraph quotes Randi Zuckerberg, global market director of Facebook and sister of the founder Mark Zuckerberg, 24, on the new venture.
“I had tonnes of people saying ‘this could be so incredible for our business’. It takes a very long time to do a focus group, and businesses often don’t have the luxury of time. I think they liked the instant responses,” she said.
“Davos is really a key place to launch an instant tool like this,” Ms Zuckerberg said. “It’s beneficial for everyone to see us as a global community of 150m users. The vast majority are not just college students in the US talking about things in their bedrooms. We are showing how we are a serious and insightful community.”
Facebook is now promoting its social network’s users as “serious and insightful” adults. That change is a reflection of the company’s attempts to entice marketers.
This endeavor could help Facebook survive the high costs of storing photos and videos. That price has risen to more than an estimated $70 million a year.
“The book value of some social networks may be written down and some companies may fail altogether if funding dries up,” said Paul Lee, Deloitte director of research for technology and telecommunications. “Average revenue per user for some of the largest new media sites is measured in just pennies per month, not pounds.
“This compares with a typical average revenue per user of tens of dollars for a cable subscriber, a regular newspaper reader or a movie fan.”