Facebook is experimenting with letting brands study people’s posts and comments on the network in an effort to better inform their marketing. The beta test, an extension of Facebook’s Audience Insights API marketing tech platform, isn’t expected to be widely available until next year, according to people familiar with the offering who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss something Facebook hasn’t announced yet. Early ad partners, which include top agencies and media companies, are searching Facebook’s vast history of public posts to see what topics, themes, brands and products are being discussed. However, for privacy concerns, users’ identities are withheld. The new insights tool could help marketers see the social network in a whole new dimension, and even give them a broader understanding of their businesses, with data that informs them about trends in the industry and the consumer mindset. Advertisers say tapping into Facebook posts opens whole new opportunities for marketers, letting them approach the social network in ways that just weren’t possible. A direct line into what people say can be more informative than what they claim to like and similar cues.
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