New Facebook Insights Allow Businesses to Closely Track User Behavior

facebook-privacy3Facebook has promoted itself as one of the best platforms on the Internet for advertisers to reach their customers, and it’s easy to see why: with an active user base of over 1 billion and comprehensive tracking analytics, advertisers can target their audiences more than ever before. Indeed, some of Facebook’s new analytics tools for its Pages are more far-reaching than ever.  While hash tags have so far failed to take off on Facebook, companies can still closely observe user behavior using analytics.

One new Facebook analytic details the reach of a page to both fans and non-fans, as well as an “optimal posting time” function that shows a page’s administrator what times of day their user base is most active. Facebook’s Insights also allow page administrators to closely track user engagement with all of their content.

While none of this represents a dire threat to your online privacy or security, you should be extra aware of how your Internet habits can be used by companies before you “Like” a page. While clicking that thumbs-up seems like a fairly innocuous gesture, advertisers can gain all sorts of information about your Facebook habits when you designate yourself as a “Fan” of something.