Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Advertising Facebook Social Networks Stats

Facebook Testing Screen-Tracking Software For Users 115

Posted by timothy
from the happy-pre-hallowe'en dept.
cagraham writes "Facebook is currently testing software that would track user's cursor movements, as well as monitor how often a user's newsfeed was visible on their mobile phone, according to the Wall Street Journal. The additional data from such tracking would potentially let Facebook raise their ad prices, as they could deliver even more information about user's on-site behavior to advertisers, such as how long users hovered over specific ads. In order to analyze the extra data, Facebook will utilize a custom version of Hadoop."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Facebook Testing Screen-Tracking Software For Users

Comments Filter:
  • The product... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mythosaz (572040) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @02:06PM (#45283119)

    Remember folks, you're not the customer, you're the product.

    • by kilfarsnar (561956) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @02:16PM (#45283255)

      Remember folks, you're not the customer, you're the product.

      No kidding. Facebook: not even once.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        Hey..yet another reason NOT to join facebook.
    • Re:The product... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheCarp (96830) <sjc&carpanet,net> on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @02:25PM (#45283377) Homepage

      This is exactly why I have taken the attitude I have: If I am the product then I will make sure they get what they paid for!

      I mostly ignore the ads, but I look for the ones I "like", and by "like" I mean the ones that annoy me, or make me feel like they are dishonest or even just, giving out a messgage that I dislike. Then.... I comment on them.

      The beauty of this? I hover over them... a lot, I click on them a lot, then I spew out trollish comments intended to convince people other than what the advertisement was shooting for. The beauty of this is,....it brings me more of the same kinds of ad, so I can take my hobby forward to the next round!

      The "criminal justice schools" ads are the best, especially since they never remove comments or block anyone. The MA state lottory tried advertising to me, and they actually removed my comments and blocked me. Apparently they don't like being told that they lie about the odds (if a casino offers me a bet, pays that bet and taxes out taxes for the state, thats one thing... when the state does it themselves, they are actually fraudulently stating the payout, and thus the pot odds) or that even if they didn't their odds of wining are abysmal.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Personally, I've found that I've been able to get the ads on Facebook to behave moderately well by actually clicking the little X on the ads that don't apply. Usually I'll select "against my viewpoints" or whatever it says. But sometimes other options. By just removing a few ads / companies, I've been able to get rid of a lot of the nuissance stuff, and most of what shows up is real products, that I may actually be interested in, from companies who aren't just trying to scam me.
        • So you are doing a bit of work for them to give them more of your information so that they can more effectively convince you to part with your money.

          I mean, my hobbies cost me money too, but you've got a bit of a strange one there.

        • I effectively have a "brain filter" in place where I ignore ads. The places that have the annoying flashing adds that try to install crapware/trojans/spyware onto my computer are permablocked and never visited again. I classify those sites/ads as "actively hostile" and thus won't even give the site a second chance. But then again, I am not their target audience, so they probably don't give a shit.

        • by TheCarp (96830)

          Sure but then I might not get more of the same and I would miss my opportunity to warn others away and.... of course... cost them money.

          So I actually mark ads for products I like as "against my views", that way, I wont have to see their ad, which is wasted on me anyway, and wont be costing them more money. Unlike the ones I dislike, who I make pay for the 'contact' they are making with me....and try to draw out more of that contact....so I can troll more.

          And while we are on the topic of trolling of course,

      • by jovius (974690)

        The best option is to completely disregard advertising.

        The facebook will still have a nicely tracked trail of your behavior, and the advertisers made you participate in some way. Your actions may be visible to your friends, who are so also exposed to the same advertisers by you. Now you are almost naming the companies and brands even, so that's only a continuation of the campaign... With a cunning strategy and successful execution the overall visibility grows huge.

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      Remember folks, you're not the customer, you're the product.

      Sometimes against your will, too. You might be a commodity brought in by other "products"

      People have posted pictures/tagged me without my knowledge.

      • This is the reason I (grudgingly) have a Facebook account. I'd have loved to refuse to ever sign up, but the only way to control other people's tagging of me was to have an account so I could forcibly remove the tags.

  • Come'on really. How reliable would this be anyway? News? Move on. Next!

    • by webdog314 (960286)

      How long users hovered over specific ads? There's so much rollover event crap going on that I usually move my cursor to the edge of the page just to be able to read.

  • I like to leave my cursor hovering over ads while I go to the bathroom or cook dinner.

    Data means nothing without analysis.

    Make your ad sound-equipped video and I'll block anything from that provider and probably stop going to your web site.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Doesn't matter as long as they get more numbers to dazzle the advertisers with. They don't care if everything is entirely accurate. More information is always better. If it turns out to make them look bad (nobody hovers over the ads), they'll just choose not to report those numbers to the advertisers. If they can use the data, and spin it in a way to make them look good, then they will have more "hard facts" to let advertisers know they are getting their money's worth.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @02:07PM (#45283135)

    Wonder how long it will be until FB accounts start getting banned because users use AdBlock with this techology...

    3...2..

    • by Piata (927858)

      How would you separate the people using adblock from the people that have no interest in ads and routinely avoid them?

      I don't think there's been an ad on Facebook that I've desired to click on. For a company that stripe mines user data as their core business, they seem terrible at advertising (or at least advertising to me).

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        How would you separate the people using adblock from the people that have no interest in ads and routinely avoid them?

        Look for the logged in accounts that never have any mouse movement activity?

    • by Dr.Zong (584494)
      And that would literally be the ammunition I need to nuke my account. I've noticed the only people I kep in touch with on there that I don't see regularly in real life, I could do without anyhow.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not to mention NoScript.

    • Hmm...on one hand, Facebook, on the other, AdBlock.

      I know which one *I* would choose :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have no problem with them tracking the cursor movement on my mobile phone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @02:14PM (#45283235)

    And this is why we block adverts.

    I felt bad at first blocking adverts so I didn't do it.
    But then websites abused that over and over.
    A few text adverts ok, that's just about acceptable.
    Just when pages have multiple graphic or even video adverts that's not.
    And when they start profiling and tracking you then that's simply abuse.

    I now agressively block advertising and tracking on every website I can.
    And it's because they didn;'t know when to stop.

  • by Colin Castro (2881349) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @02:15PM (#45283243)
    a world where once you leave your local shopping store a man follows you around all day, recording where you go, what you look at, what you buy, the music you listen to, the tv shows you watch, which commercials you pay attention to, which ones you don't. There's no law against this, and if you tell him to leave you alone he ignores you. You file an opt out form and he still follows you, but now he hides in the bushes. This is what is happening, but to all of your online life. Thanks for reading.
    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      Do you mind if I imagine your proposition replacing the man with a naked lady?

      It's to be closer to the reality of the interwebs.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        No. On the Interwebs it looks like a naked (and very young) lady from a distance, but it's a trap. It's really a man, and probably a fat, filthy, neckbearded one at that underneath his disguise, and he's been masturbating all day while he's been spying on you.

        That, my friend, is the reality of the interwebs.

    • <Rod Serling>Your next stop: The Twilight Zone!</Rod Serling>

    • a world where once you leave your local shopping store a man follows you around all day, recording where you go, what you look at, what you buy, the music you listen to, the tv shows you watch, which commercials you pay attention to, which ones you don't. There's no law against this, and if you tell him to leave you alone he ignores you. You file an opt out form and he still follows you, but now he hides in the bushes. This is what is happening, but to all of your online life. Thanks for reading.

      AdBlock. It's like being able to bash that man with a baseball bat.

      • i was thinking about refiling that opt out ballisticaly (in triplicate) but a baseball bat (a USA made Louisville Slugger in Maple as GHOD intended) would work well also.

    • You mean like this [slashdot.org]?
  • by EMG at MU (1194965) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @02:26PM (#45283379)
    FaceBook asked the world to raise your hand if you are ok with them using all of your information and habits to get you to click on ads, and every FB account was a hand raised. Even if you only use it to "stay in touch with family and close friends", "I never click ads", "I run AdBlockPlus" ect... You are a number they use to get more money.
  • Progress! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Krishnoid (984597) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @02:28PM (#45283409) Journal
    So ... we'll be moving from click-fraud to hover-fraud?
  • They could just give out free televisions with integrated webcams, and as an added bonus it would come with a screensaver of some mustached dude staring sternly at you. And paint their drones black. And start calling their datacenters "ministries". How's the war with Google going, Mark? Same as it always has?
    • by mjr167 (2477430)
      No, they don't have to give them away. People already pay Microsoft for this...
    • by lgw (121541)

      My new TV came with an integrated webcam, but I must have gotten one of the upper-class versions, because I can turn it off.

      • by jrumney (197329)

        My new TV came with an integrated webcam, but I must have gotten one of the upper-class versions, because I can turn it off.

        Are you sure about that?

        • by lgw (121541)

          Yep - because Samsung was smart about it, and "turning it off" involves pointing it directly up (I guess sliding a shield in front of it to turn it off would have been more certain, but would have looked odd).

  • I figured that they already knew I liked checking out all of the hot chicks in the Match.com/online dates.

    Maybe some other algorithm already knows that I'm sad and alone. :(

  • Getting hard to sell those ads for more money eh? Pump all the data you want, I still won't buy your crap.

    • Until things like cpalead become more common. If you don't sign up for one of the three free trials, you're locked out of the page. Or until video ads cause you to hit the monthly cap imposed by your ISP.
  • ... with the idea that the position of my mouse is any kind of indication as to where my eyes are looking? I move the mouse out of the way so that it doesn't obscure the text I'm trying to read. What moron of an advertiser is going to pay extra for knowing that we've moved our mouse over their ad? It has virtually no correlation with where my attention is focused.

    I sense, though, that this will make FB even more of a pain in the ass to load when all this mouse location software needs to be downloaded into

    • by allo (1728082)

      maybe, they want to know, that you move the cursor out of the ad, to watch the animation displayed?

  • there are ads on Facebook? Huh.
  • I hate a number of their ads. You couldn't pay me enough to click on them. Seriously.

    Now that I know they (might) have mouse-based tracking all I have to do is figure out what their (weak) logic is and then try that as an avenue to reduce the uninteresting ads. Why do I get commercials in spanish if I don't speak spanish?

  • Y'know, I'd have more faith in these 'Facebook is Omnipotent' stories if Facebook ever once actually served up something I cared about. I joined five years ago and I'm on FB several times per day. I post links, and update my status. I post a few pictures per week. I check in here and there using the mobile app. I have a couple of hundred friends and I comment on their postings. Facebook knows my location, age, gender, marital status. It knows I like James Bond and I'm an airplane geek... On and on.

    Y
  • "Here comes the first output. What does it say?!?!?"

    "The pattern-recognition AI says, after studying millions of instances of tracking, we should use ads with 'selfies' of humanoids wearing tight clothes hiding prominent chest tumors."

  • Are Belong To USNSA
  • Did you listen to me? No! You all thought I was a nut-job because I bailed out of Facebook. Who's laughing at who, now?

    Sheep.
  • Perhaps that is why Facebook performance sucks. The more stuff they add in the worse the software works. They might be better off just getting it to work correctly.
  • Facebook has been doing this for ages. It started years ago with the hovercards (hovering over a person's face brings up details and alerts Facebook each time) and grew from there. A few months ago I observed using the Firefox Web Developer tools that Facebook was monitoring when a user hovered over a Like button (not necessarily clicked), advertisements, possibly tracking what part of the page the user was on, and more. Quick analysis from a curious user didn't reveal the full details of exactly what they

You are in a maze of UUCP connections, all alike.

Working...