Facebook View Tags Enter Marketing Metrics

Last week, Facebook announced its “View Tag” function for advertisers. As with any normal Facebook announcement, users got upset, crying out that Big Brother just climbed up another rung on the surveillance ladder. But if you think about it, this is not only a logical step for advertising and marketing metrics, but also what mass marketers of yore would have given anything for.

Facebook’s View Tag allows ads to drop cookies once they make an “impression”––in other words, once you have seen the ad. Then, should you purchase the item advertised at a later date, the cookie will tag that date and report back to the advertiser. This is different from a pay-per-click ad, which requires a deeper dive into the product and a call to action.

This also allows advertisers to track a much more organic and human way of surfing the Internet. Very rarely do you search for a product and then buy it after that initial search. Research is vital in the online marketplace, and it can take weeks to finally make a decision. This cookie now gives a measurable success rate apart from clicks. This is the technology that billboard believers and coupon distributors have wanted their entire lives.

So what are the implications? Well, advertisers will be able to market even more directly to your wants and needs but will also be able to reward you for your purchases long after the initial impression. The line of communication has opened a little more, and the online marketplace is now a bit more personal. It will also be interesting to see how successful and well received this is, if it will be adopted by search-engine advertising like Google AdWords, and how pay-per-click campaigns will be affected as a whole.

Author: Zachary Smith


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