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Why Gay Men Are Worth So Much To Facebook 270

Posted by timothy
from the commerce-mutes-prejudice dept.
Barence writes "PC Pro has a feature on how social networks sold your privacy, which includes some interesting comparisons on the value of different demographics to Facebook. For example, an advert that targets everyone within a 10-mile radius of a medium-sized British town (Dorking) is valued at 28p per click by Facebook's advertising tool. However, targeting single gay men in the area with a preference for nightclubbing raises the price to 71p per click — 2.5x the price of targeting the general public. Such precise targeting also raises other issues. Whittling down ads to target such precise demographics can result in ads targeting as few as 20 people, making it theoretically possible to identify those targeted. 'I think the worst scenario might be where someone who hates gays uses Facebook's targeting to identify gay users and later attack them,' says Paul Francis, scientific director of the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems."
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Why Gay Men Are Worth So Much To Facebook

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  • Meaningless numbers (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @09:53AM (#39483955) Homepage

    For example, an advert that targets everyone within a 10-mile radius of a medium-sized British town (Dorking) is valued at 28p per click by Facebook's advertising tool. However, targeting single gay men in the area with a preference for nightclubbing raises the price to 71p per click

    That typically means young and single, which has always been a very attractive market with a lot of disposable time and money. Can we get a comparison to straight people with a preference to nightclubbing? Of course a blanket ad trying to sell to everyone is worth far far less...

  • by Dunega (901960) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @10:04AM (#39484053)

    Why? We knew that already. It's posted every single time there's a story on Facebook.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @10:08AM (#39484105)
    Yes [nytimes.com], women newly pregnant for the first time are highly desirable and targeted demographic. That link describes the lengths Target goes to in order to identify those women, even if they haven't told anybody yet (on facebook or otherwise). But after the spike of one-time purchases and brand adoption during the pregnancy, most of the purchases for actually raising a child are recurring and made from habit, so advertising is less effective.
  • by IICV (652597) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @11:16AM (#39484729)

    But after the spike of one-time purchases and brand adoption during the pregnancy, most of the purchases for actually raising a child are recurring and made from habit, so advertising is less effective.

    Actually you missed the most important part - after the spike of one-time purchases during the pregnancy, most purchases for actually raising a child are made from habits that can be influenced during the pregnancy.

    That's why advertising to newly pregnant women is so profitable; if you pull it off properly, you might have a customer who will now buy things from you for the next eighteen years - and then that child will have memories of shopping at Target, and refuse to shop anywhere else (e.g, my wife absolutely refuses to shop at K-Mart and will drive further to go to a Target, just because that's where her mother shopped when she was a kid).

  • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @11:47AM (#39485127)

    Actually, most of the trans people I know don't have a problem with drag/ladyboys.... "shemales" is a different story... that's offensive because it's specifically tied to sexual fetishism, but drag and ladyboys are performance. Transsexualism isn't performance, it's real, and outside of people who are just beginning their "real life experience" period, I don't know any trans people who have a problem with the idea of drag. They don't like to be identified as it (because they aren't), but they can accept it as a different concept.

    That being said, there's a whole lot more to "transgendered" than transsexualism. Genderqueer, people who simply refuse to associate with either specific gender, androgynous culture, etc., all fit within the umbrella term.

    And yes, I do know several transgendered individuals, some of whom are also transsexual. It comes from my volunteer work with the local queer community center.

    Also worth noting... historically treatment for transgender issues was restricted by a (now debunked) theory that very narrowly defined what could be accepted as "trans". That created an inaccurate skew in terms of the sexuality... in Canada, for example, until the last couple of years it was impossible for somebody who identified as homosexual to get gender reassignment therapy. If you were a transwoman, you, by definition, had to like men exclusively, sexually. That has changed, and a very large number of "gay" trans people have come out of the woodwork and are now seeking therapy. I would expect that when the dust settles it'll be somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of trans people who are homosexual.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @12:23PM (#39485589)

    I think the theory is a bit overdrawn, but it is valid.

    And whether you find it feasible or not, you certainly are comfortable in how you think society works. Problem is, society changes over time. What is okay now, may not be in the future. Japanese get internment camps. Anime reader lists get put on pedophile watch lists.

    My parents built their dream retirement home in a "wealthy" development. Pretty soon after, they got targeted by church groups in the area (I live in a much less wealth area 2 miles from them; those church groups visit here 10% of the time)--asking them to join, asking for donations. Nothing ridiculous or unexpected really. Right after that though, my mom, who was born a foreigner, started getting visits from various government types (confirmed with id after she related the first incident to me) asking about her residency and work status--my mother has been a naturalized citizen for more than 2 decades. A certain church group got more aggressive.

    I found out later that one of the state's most rascist and homophobic "leaders" lived in our area (which I partly knew about), was a certain group's church member, and basically fed off of information provided by the more innocent activities to harass or simply bother. (Psst, that house there didn't give any money, who lives there, a foreigner, oh really...) He eventually moved out of the area, and oddly enough, so did nearly all of these visits and more aggressive campaigning for donations.

    Do not, ever, underestimate what bored, biased people can do expedited by information, including that from sitting at s computer. Setting up an ad to gain information? Easily done. You should know by now people are getting more knowledgeable and driven. A targeted ad might not be the original source of the list generation, but it certainly can get passed with little oversight or review to people with more evil intentions.

    In any case, I like the report, because while it may be obvious to you and me, it makes people with less of an evil or street smart mind possibly more aware.

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