New Ways Facebook is Trying to Profit Off of You

Posted on 03/19/2013

Take the entire population of America and multiply it times three-- that will get you close to the number of monthly active Facebook users: 1.06 billion. But despite the social media giant's popularity, they're still looking for ways to turn all those users into cash. Here are some new ways Facebook is trying to profit off of you.

Trading Your Phone Number
If you've got your phone number listed on your Facebook profile there's a chance Facebook could sell it to a company who also has your phone number. It's a way to specifically target ads towards you based on past product purchases.

Charging for Facebook Messages
Right now Facebook is testing out a new fee that charges users who want to send a message to another user. You can pay a dollar (or as much as $15) to ensure that your message is seen by the other person. Otherwise it will be delivered to their "other" folder, which many users don't even realize they have. So far Facebook isn't getting much positive feedback over this new feature.

Buying the Facebook Card
Need a quick gift for your friend? You can now buy gift cards for Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, Sephora and Target all on one reusable gift card from Facebook. To buy simply select a gift from the Gift Cards & Digital category. Choose a value and complete the purchase. Your friend will be notified instantly and the Facebook card will show up in their mailbox a few days later.

Giving Your Friends Gifts
It used to be that simply remembering to write "happy birthday" on your friend's Facebook wall was enough. But now Facebook is hoping to conger up sales by enticing you to send them a gift as well. You can give gift cards to Starbucks, Target or even Uber, a private driver service available in major cities.

Tracking What Your Browse
Have you ever been surfing the web for shoes, then noticed the same brands showing up in Facebook ads? It's not a coincidence. Facebook is charging companies for the ability to swap information about you in an effort to market more specifically. According to this is called Facebook Exchange and it's another way Facebook is trading your personality for their profit.

By Alison Storm

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