Facebook looking to monetise Instagram with targeted ads?

News Basil Kronfli 10:24, 22 Nov 2012

Facebook looks set to share user data across their platforms, with Instagram being the most notable for us smartphone users, should you be worried?

Facebook has just announced changes to how it handles user data –changes that have pretty sizable implications for mobile, and notably Instagram users.

In the document outlining these changes, it states that Facebook wants to share user information across other owned services, Instagram being the most notable.

With 600 million active monthly Facebook mobile users and roughly 223 million active monthly Instagram users (Aug 2012), each social network’s reach is huge, with shared user data only increasing Facebook’s stockpile of privy info.

Facebook claims that a desire to improve its services has driven the decision to implement a change. One way they intend to do this is through improving targeted advertising.

On a grass roots level, what makes the change a concern for some is the harvesting of data some might want private on one network, but not mind sharing on another.

This could mean geotagged photos and keywords in Instagram will help target Facebook adverts for example, and Facebook information will help shape suggestions in Instagram.

In addition, despite not having advertising now, in the future, there’s every chance Instagram could sell ads which in turn could be targeted by Facebook.

Should you be concerned now? Not if you haven't been concerned before. The data is still owned by the same body and Google did something similar without it hurting its user base. 

Anyone laden with the information age fear will want to make sure your profile is set to private and your photos aren't geotagged, which you're probably doing already.

In short, keep calm and carry on.

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