By Eric Lieberman
Facebook and Google, two of the largest technology companies in the world, have established a foothold on the advertising industry thanks to the rise of digital media.
The two conglomerates were in possession of almost two-thirds of the $60 billion online advertising market just last year, according to the New York Times. Newspapers are partially dependent on advertisements for funding, but face the lowest revenue sales since the economic crash in 2009, according to Pew Research Center.
Advertising in digital media is projected to surpass television for the United States in the the next year, according to the Financial Times. Numbers so far this year show that Facebook is right on course to continue its exponential growth in an already growing market.
The social media company is now the operational liaison between big name brands and consumers, including newspapers and their customers, while Google has been capable of this for awhile. Facebook and Google have the opportunity to directly advertise themselves and take away any opportunities for other companies to advertise on their platforms.
The two companies also maintain dominance by tailoring advertisements for individual viewers. “Behavioral targeting” has become a popular marketing tactic — which optimizes the effectiveness of advertising by compiling data and analyzing the tendencies of the individuals.
Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president for global marketing solutions, expressed that the company’s main mission is to protect privacy first, and that sharing user information is second. Everson told the New York Times that they have “sophisticated tools to help its partners contact customers and likely customers without making them identifiable.”
These tools have essentially created a duopoly. Irwin Gotlieb, chairman of a large advertising purchasing firm called GroupM Global, told the New York Times that companies like his “fully understand that users’ privacy is sacrosanct. But there are ways to share data without compromising it; everyone else has found ways to do it.”
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