Monday, 02 Feb, 2009 Current Events

Facebook to Use Members' Private Data to Make More Money


The popular social networking website Facebook looks forward to make use of the personal information of its 150 million registered members by building one the vastest market research databases in the world. With the help of such database multinational corporations will have the possibility to selectively mark its members to study the demand of new products.

With its latest invention the companies will be free to formulate questions to specially selected users. The questions will be based on a number of intimate details such as whether a certain member is single or married or if he or she is gay or straight. Once valued at $15 billion, Facebook continuously tried to make money from advertising, which is why its representatives attempted to show the advantages of the company's latest invention - instant polling tool - at World Economic Forum that took place in Davos.

According to Randi Zuckerberg, who holds the position of global markets director of Facebook and who is also the sister of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, multinational companies had been showing great interest in the service, which would allow obtaining real-time response from millions of members registered at the social networking site, reports The Telegraph.

"I had tons 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.

At the World Economic Forum, Facebook representatives asked a number of questions to its registered members before providing the answers to delegates within minutes. Before discussing the results, the company targeted users located in Palestine and later those in Israel asking them about the global peace.

According to market experts, the amount of information possessed by Facebook could be worth million of dollars, which market research firms will be willing to pay. The new polling system of the company has been sold to CareerBuilder, the largest online job website in the United States and AT&T, the American telecoms giant, is currently testing the system.

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