Facebook to track non-users around the internet


In a bid to expand its user base, social media giant Facebook has announced it will begin displaying ads to web users who are not members of its social network.

“Facebook will use cookies, ‘like’ buttons and other plug-ins embedded on third-party sites to track members and non-members alike,” a report in The Wall Street Journal said.

The company said it will be able to better target non-Facebook users and serve relevant ads to them.

“Publishers and app developers have some users who are not Facebook users. We think we can do a better job powering those ads,” Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook’s ads and business platform, was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s practices have come under criticism from regulators in Europe over privacy concerns. Facebook began displaying a banner notification at the top of its News Feed for users in Europe from Friday, alerting them to its use of cookies as mandated under an EU directive.

Facebook believes that targeted advertising can more accurately target non-members using the vast amounts of data it already has on the nearly 1.7 billion people who use the site, the report said.

The company said that “it can use that data to make inferences about the behaviour of non-members, an approach known as “lookalike” targeting”.

“…because we have a core audience of over a billion people [on Facebook] who we do understand, we have a greater opportunity than other companies using the same type of mechanism,” Bosworth added.

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