How Facebook’s stalking us for spammy pub – a practical example

I like Facebook, I do not blame it for selling our email addresses to advertisers

Hundreds of millions of people use Facebook. Me too, Facebook gives me many free services, and I am grateful. Now, it is quite normal that a company offering such useful and powerful free services in the field of communication, must find sources of income to survive and even improve its services. Facebook has found a great way to use and monetize advertising. Here is a concrete example.

Facebook’s stalking our web browsing even when we are not connected to our Facebook account

Via cookies, there are plenty of sites that communicate to Facebook not only the fact that you visited them, but also your behavior on the site, the pages you visit, how you interact with the site, etc. Based on these data, Facebook is selling the same email address you used for your Facebook account, and probably even other addresses belonging to you, to companies that sell products or services relating to the sites you’ve visited, provided they have allowed Facebook to track you.

A concrete example

In January 2015, I started using Facebook two or three times a week, whereas before I visited it about once a month. In February 2015 I translated the site in French, for online store. However, the most numerous products on this site, are printable Smartphone hulls by sublimation. Dozens of pages are devoted to it. Now, two days after the start of my translation, I received three commercials for the smartphone hulls. They are hereafter:

Facebook borne spam advertising

Facebook borne spam advertising

This notwithstanding, as my son made me notice before, I had bought him a smartphone cover on Amazon. So the pub came perhaps from this purchase. Amazon may have communicated my email to the senders of these messages, sent on behalf of

Confirmation that this was the origin of Facebook spam for the same site on February 24, so after receiving two spam mail regarding the shells, I began to translate three or four pages dedicated to 3D printers. I had never visited sites on 3D printers in the previous month, nor had purchased any items that even indirectly 3D printers such as ink for this printer. Well, on February 26 I received the email below, precisely about 3D printers:

intrusive advertising via Facebook

intrusive advertising via Facebook

What should we do vis-à-vis advertising that targets us because of Facebook?

Don’t let it influence you. If we dream of buying that new car that we like so much, and after having visited itswebsite, we receive an email with a personalized special offer, do not take it as a sign from heaven or destiny, indicating that we need to make that purchase. Especially if our bank account tells us otherwise …

Google+ seems to me much more discreet

I frequently used Facebook for the first time last February, as I said, while I use Google+ almost daily. I never received any spam or advertising mail that can be related to my activity on Google+ or any spam related sites I visited frequently, before starting to use Facebook more frequently. That’s why I reckon that Google+ is much more discreet, and I haven’t got any clues that Google plus sells my email address for advertising purposes. Do you think I’m wrong? Thank you to let me know …


The traffic Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest bring to 3 small companies sites

Case study: I analyze here the traffic 3 sites belonging to 3 French SMEs receive from social networks

You will see below the relevant screenshots of Google Analytics reports. Understandably, the strategies applied to each site, and the difference among the three categories of products offered by such sites, determine significant variations as well in traffic from social networks as in the type of social network. These reports refer to the last 30 days until yesterday., site showcasing pool enclosures, porch, pergola – with over 7000 unique visitors in the last 30 days
social network traffic for Analytics

social network traffic for Analytics

32 unique visitors arrived on this site the last 30 days from Google+. The website Google+ page receives an average  3000 views per month. It has about 120 Google+ users who follow it, and a little over 700 “+”. It received only six visits from Facebook, and about thirty “likes”, despite the fact that its Facebook page was created two years ago, a page that I rarely visit. The fact that this site has received five visits from Pinterest is due to the Pinterest page I created for it, although I never found the time to feed it. I did the same thing for Twitter, with a poor outcome., online sales site of royal jelly, honey, etc.- with over 2000 unique visitors in the last 30 days
social network traffic for - Google Analytics

social network traffic for – Google Analytics receives more visits from Facebook than from Google+, despite the fact that this company, which produces and sells hive products online has a Google+ page, but has no Facebook page. The reason is simple: its products are most likely to interest the Facebook public that the more professional Google+ public. It’s Google+ page receives 600 views per month, and his followers on Google+ are 30. It has also received 139 “+” on its Google+ page, with thirty followers. The “Likes” from Facebook are 15 in total., the blog of one of the world’s leading professional appliances for food preparation, Dynamic Mixers – with more than 2,500 unique visitors in the last 30 days
social network traffic for Google Analytics

social network traffic for Google Analytics

Here, despite the absence of a Facebook page, and the existence of a Google+ Page for two years, this site receives only five visits per month from Google+, 6 from Facebook. It has more than 130 “+” from Google+ , and its Google+ page has got about twenty followers for about 450 views per month. It must be said that professional food preparation appliances are not too searched for on the web.

In conclusion, Google+ is more profitable, Twitter seems to provide little traffic, whereas Facebook’s not bad at all. Pinterest is promising

We must consider that Facebook has a great extenuating circumstance: since I prefer Google+, the time I dedicate to it for the three sites in question is 20 times greater than the time I spend on Facebook, where I rarely go.

The differences among these four social networks

For sites where images are paramount, such as porches and pool enclosures, Pinterest seems rather promising. Google+ is the best organized, enjoys the power of Google search, and you can control it well to avoid being polluted by spam from different backgrounds. With Twitter, it’s not easy to get visitors, while Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular, although I do not like it too much.


Targeted Facebook advertising, dangerous, tedious or wacky?

I’m talking about the advertisements which appear on the right when connecting to your Facebook account.

Why Facebook advertising is wacky

Indeed, following what Facebook states to lure advertisers, Facebook advertising should target people according to their interests. If I buy a Facebook advertising to sell tennis rackets, Facebook, based on the data it collects (hopefully respecting privacy) on behalf of its users, should show such advertising on the pages of the social network accessed by users who play tennis. Awesome targeting, unlike television advertising that bombs me, for example, with sugar-packed products that I never buy.

Facebook advertising targeting me

Facebook advertising targeting me

In the reality, Facebook targeting is imprecise and sassy!

Look, right here, a sample of the ads that appear on my Facebook page today, and understand why I could not care less:

  1. Renault Clio: I have no need to rent a car, especially not in Saint -Étienne, an hour from home, reachable only by car… !
  2. Holland tumbles – so? To be interested in this article, I should find myself alone in a rainy Sunday without Internet connection. But then I would not have Facebook, so my interest in this advertisement is again close to zero.
  3. Wanted 30 or more men: even if I wasn‘t an irreducible monogamous, the proposal “meeting with fun people in your area” makes me think these gals would only want to have fun with my credit card…
  4. More muscles : this is the male equivalent of a woman with a silicone inflated chest. Yuck!
  5. Free simulation, calculate your monthly payment : I’ve never bought anything on credit…
  6. Hot and sexy : this reminds me of the good old directories that we used in the childhood era of SEO…

Why Facebook advertising is dangerous

In fact, sometimes, the targeting works. For example, a woman could control her husband Facebook account : if it displays too much sex or viagra advertising, she’d better have a few doubts about his loyalty…

Again, an employer may find that his employee is targeted by job search services advertising: a sign he is not happy with his job…

 Why Facebook advertising is tedious

I much prefer Google+, which has no advertising. And you, what do you think of advertising on Facebook? Thank you for your comments, kindly put a on Google+ this item, if you enjoyed it.