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Facebook says data on the rainbow filter profile pictures won't be used to sell ads


By Tony Connelly, Sports Marketing Reporter

June 30, 2015 | 3 min read

Facebook has stated that it will not share user data information from the rainbow filter profile picture with its advertisers.

More than 26 million Facebook users adopted the rainbow filter over their profile picture to show support for LGBT rights after the U.S Supreme Court legalised gay marriage throughout the entire country.

The figures illustrate that Facebook continues to closely track and collect data on its users just one year after it emerged that the company had been conducting secret experiments by manipulating peoples news feed to show a disproportionate number of positive or negative ads in order to study mood.

Given the social media's history of user data collection, speculation has arisen that the rainbow filter tool could be used for similar purposes, analysing behaviour patterns and using it to serve its advertising platform.

Nicole DeMeo, chief marketing officer of global mobile marketing company Glipsia, said to Mashable that all forms of data can be used to assist marketing. Acording to DeMeo, users who adopt the rainbow filter, can be assumed to be in support of LGBT rights and so “a network could then send offers such as LGBT related events, content and media to that user,"

Facebook have denied the accusations, stating that the new tool was created to allow people to show their support for the LGBT community and that the company “aren’t going to use this as a way to target ads.”

They say that the rainbow filter was built by two interns and after it became popular within the company, the interns worked with a larger team to implement the tool into the site before the Pride weekend celebrations and the Supreme Court ruling.

The tool was added to the site alongside an announcement that the more than 6 million US Facebook members identify themselves as gay.

Facebook recently made changes to their ad tech business Atlas with the appointment of Google's Andy Mihalop who will head up the UK sales operation..

Advertising Mark Zuckerberg Facebook

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