Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is at it again. Infringing on users’ privacy, by allowing marketers to hunt down users by their phone numbers and bombard them with ads.
According to Facebook it will let the marketers hunt down their prospects. But these prospects can be hunted down only if Facebook has shared users’ personal information with the marketers. And, of course, if the user has also shared that information with Facebook in the first place.
Facebook will be rolling out the targeting option widely next week. It will give advertisers the ability to use phone numbers, email addresses and the “UID” code that Facebook users generate when they install apps on the network.
The idea is that advertisers hand over that data to Facebook, which will match with the user data it already has. So, if Virgin America wants to target people who have already flown on the airline it has to submit the data it has to Facebook. . Both data sets are supposed to be “hashed” before they’re matched, which should mean neither Virgin nor Facebook would actually know the identity of the people being targeted.
Facebook however has said that advertisers will have to seek their customers’ permission to use the data for marketing campaigns before they proceed.
But whatever efforts the social network site is putting in to get revenues the problem is that its revenues this year will simply not be as high as earlier estimated, according to a new forecast by eMarketer.
eMarketer has predicted revenues for the company to reach $6.6 billion in 2013.
Total revenues at Facebook will just break the $5-billion mark this year, an increase of 35.9 percent over 2011, according to the new forecast. In 2013, revenue is expected to increase 31 percent rising in new ad products such as ad exchange. International revenue is also expected to climb with the expansion of the company’s mobile ad business.
In February, eMarketer predicted that Facebook’s total revenues would surpass $6 billion this year, but after the company underperformed market expectations in both first and second quarters eMarketer’s forecast has been revised downward.