Let’s talk Facebook. Yes, the thing that will forever mar the millennial generation. Whether or not what I post on Facebook is considered “journalism,” no one working in today’s news world can deny these databases have become a central part of media.
I used the term databases intentionally because, in essence, that is what they are. Taking a look at my bio, here are a few things one would be able to assume about me:
1. I am a girl attending a state college who is studying journalism
2. I’m a New England Patriots fan and I generally like sports
3. My music taste ranges from Toby Keith to Camera Obscura
4. I like cowboy boots and Reese’s
5. I take lots of selfies and go out with friends to local bars and restaurants
Now, beyond a bit of narcissism, what have I done? I have created an entire profile for advertisers with my own free will. I’m not filling out a survey asking what do I watch on TV. I’m not sitting in a focus group. I’m not testing a product I may or may not like.
Who wants that information? Companies.
I am telling advertisers, product developers, businesses, etc. exactly what I like and what I might buy or spend time on. News agencies can grasp what viewers want to see and when they will be watching the news or say primetime TV (I recently liked NBC Olympics). Facebook as a whole is full of users just like me creating an entire database these companies drool after. It is one of the biggest markets in the world.