The social network is at it again. No sooner did concerns over privacy of users die down that the company tested out a new feature called ‘View Tags’ that can let advertisers drop cookies on users to track if they purchase something after seeing the Facebook ads. With this move, Facebook could potentially claim direct responsibility for improving sales generated through posting of ads on its network.
View Tags was initially rolled out as a private move but now the company is letting more advertisers use this feature on its site. It works in a slightly different manner than the previously uncovered tracking tool which allowed advertisers’ sites to detect the Facebook user ID of a converted lead, which could then be cross-checked by Facebook against the list of users who saw ads to establish attribution.
With ‘View Tags’, advertisers can generate cookies and drop them on the users’ end. These cookies monitor the users’ behavior on the site and gauge how a user reacts to a Facebook ad, and can remain in the users’ system until the users manually clear the cookies or until they expire months later. These cookies will let the advertisers know what ads were displayed in the users’ accounts, and which ones were clicked on by the users.
Using the ‘View Tags’ feature, Social Code measured the effectiveness of a campaign it ran for a consumer packaged goods company for customers to redeem an offer. It found that among the total 5,924 people who redeemed that offer, 5,127 had only viewed the ad, as opposed to 797 users who had clicked directly to the offer. This means that even viewing an ad can result in conversions, even if users do not act on it immediately.
The ‘View Tags’ feature had been in the pipeline for a while, with Facebook working to resolve all privacy-related issues of this feature. With this new feature, we can probably expect Facebook to start taking credit for generating sales through its ads and maybe generate revenues through it.