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Facebook & Cross Device Tracking: My Takeaways from F8 2015

3 MINUTE READ | March 30, 2015

Facebook & Cross Device Tracking: My Takeaways from F8 2015

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Christopher Davis

Christopher Davis has written this article. More details coming soon.

Let’s back up a bit and talk about Facebook. They have well over a billion active monthly users (1.39 Billion in December 2014) and just under 900 million daily active users. To put that in perspective the United States has a population of 320 million.

There’s a lot of people on Facebook. And, more importantly, it’s a pretty good guess that there’s an active Facebook session on any given device.

Right now tracking involves setting a cookie or other pieces of information. These bits are specific to a device and browser. In other words, there’s very little way (aside from behavioral analysis or something similar) to associate the same user between devices.

Imagine if a service had billions of active users that were already logged in. Also imagine that same service was the greatest repository of user information in the world and they allowed you to use their algorithms to find look-alike users to target.

App Analytics launched formally at F8 this year. It’s got a beautiful UI and is extremely powerful.

Now here’s the crazy part: when a user is logged into your app and you’re using app analytics, they are tracking a real person. You, as an end user of App Analytics, can’t see that personal info, of course, but you do get demographic and other anonymized information.

Now imagine that on every device. Tracking real users across multiple devices and easily associating all that data in a single UI. Multiple device funnels and targeting would become extraordinarily easy.

I think facebook is building a web analytics platform (beyond what they have for to match their app analytics. In fact, they already have some of it built there’s just not UI that allows you to see that information outside of custom audiences for websites.

The power provided by look-alike audiences combined with the ability to generate custom audiences from an Analytics UI is huge. This already exists for App Anaytics, and I imagine it would expand to a web analytics platform.

With all of the above — tracking real users and cross device capabilities — it begins to make more sense why a login with Facebook button is extraordinarily valuable.

Facebook is really just scratching the surface of what they could do for marketers with their data. We all need to be ready to up our games as advertising becomes more personal and targeted.

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