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How Facebook is Selling You to Advertisers

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How Facebook is Selling You to Advertisers

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LONDON - JULY 10: In this photo illustration a girl browses the social networking site Facebook on July 10, 2007 in London, England. Facebook has been rapidly catching up on MySpace as the premier social networking website and as of July 2007 was the secondmost visited such site on the World Wide Web. Started by 22 year old Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, the website is responsible for 1% of all internet traffic and is the sixth most visited site in the USA. (Photo Illustration by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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Facebook is giving advertisers a chance to find more people like their target consumers on the social network.

Facebook released "Lookalike Audiences" this week, which will let marketers reach those similar to their Custom Audiences databases, according to Mashable. Custom Audiences lets advertisers use data like email addresses, phone numbers and user IDs to create their marketing maneuvers on Facebook. Lookalike Audiences would let them find other Facebook users that look a lot like their Custom Audiences, also known as targeted consumers. And if they buy an ad, they can get a glimpse of the lookalike audience and use it.

That means that the social network is now one big marketer's dream.

Facebook states that it won't share personal information with advertisers, although it would have to because it uses email addresses, phone numbers and user IDs, remember?

Sure, it makes sense for advertisers to find people similar to those who liked or used their product, but are users happy with being part of a marketing experiment? We're all aware that social networks fail when the bad outweighs the good, so when does that start happening for most people on Facebook? When users can't see any news from friends on their newsfeed because it's clogged by ads might be the tipping point.

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