It took Facebook about six months to start using all that offline consumer data it's made deals for for more than just "research" and put all that rewards cards information to good lucrative use. With its new "ad effectiveness" program Facebook will serve specific ads that reflect your specific offline shopping habits, a set-up that ranges from creepy to uncomfortable.
Since announcing its partnership with Datalogix, a company that uses rewards card data from drugstores to track what people buy in offline retail stores, Facebook has partnered up with two similar firms Epsilon and Acxiom and has now started using all this information to serve more accurate ads, according to The New York Times's Somini Sengupta. Someone who bought Tums at CVS, for example, might start seeing ads for other digestive products on Facebook. Another person who bought a Ford five years ago, might start seeing ads new car ads because that's when people often think about trading in for a new model.
Our "IRL" shopping habits have officially made their way to the social network's money-making scheme—a pretty big departure from all this information just being used as anonymized data to see if ads are working.