Since September, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has started offering its advertisers a powerful new method to monitor its users they surf the Web. It is known as phone number retargeting. Facebook decided to make this move after making a big attempt to collect the mobile phone numbers of its users to stop security intrusions.
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As per AdExchanger, Facebook has combined phone with a new conversion pixel, which is practically a kind of tracking device, within adverts displayed on Facebook.
The combo of conversion pixels and phone retargeting lets advertisers to reach out to ads directly and then calculate exactly how users respond to the ads – ignoring, clicking or purchasing something from the site of the advertiser.
A few advertisers have been following this method on other websites for a number of years.
However, most users on Facebook are not aware of what is happening inside Facebook. In fact, users believe that the fundamental reason because of which Facebook prompts them for their mobile phone numbers is to stop account hacking. Another reason is to let users upload pictures and update their statuses from their phones directly.
Earlier this year, Facebook had started asking all its users for their phone numbers citing ‘security’ concerns.
Apparently, Facebook has made such phone numbers available to advertisers as a part of its new Custom Audience targeting product. The product mentions that audiences can be categorized by their email addresses, phone numbers of Facebook UIDs.
Here is how the thing works.
For example, a user is a member at a local gym. He perhaps gave the gym his contact number. However, the user‘s membership has lapsed and the gym wants him to join back. The gym officials can cross check its list of its user’s phone numbers with phone numbers on Facebook. Then the gym can serve an advert of any user with a matching number. Bingo! That is how the user will suddenly see ads related to rejoining his local gym.