The Facebook Blockchain Trend: 3 Takeaways for Marketers

According to Wall Street Journal, Facebook has been recruiting resources to create a cryptocurrency-based payment system. As a leading social media and social networking company and ad platform, Facebook could significantly gain from blockchain technology. In this article, we discuss:

  • Facebook’s approach to the blockchain trend
  • Three possibilities for blockchain on Facebook
  • And, predictions for the near future

     

Facebook has been circling the blockchain segment for a while. From setting up a dedicated team for blockchain research to exploring its own cryptocurrency (dubbed “Facecoin”) the digital advertising giant has made several small but significant moves in the space. However, there have been no formal announcements, and Facebook is yet to share concrete plans around leveraging any specific blockchain trend.

What is the Facebook-Blockchain Trend All About?

To start with, blockchain is a highly versatile technology, with numerous applications across sectors. In marketing itself, there are promising blockchain trends around digital ad purchases, loyalty programs, product narratives, and many more. Therefore, it is no surprise that a technology company like Facebook would be interested in blockchain and its benefits. Furthermore, given Facebook’s massive scale and reach, its adoption of blockchain trends will surely influence a large audience.

So, where did it all begin?

In early 2018, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that blockchain trends were among his key interest areas for that year. Soon afterward, another business leader from Facebook announced that they were assembling a group of experts to explore blockchain implementation across the platform. Since then, the Facebook-blockchain trend has only gained momentum, with the recent registration of Libra Networks, a Facebook Global Holdings company focused on blockchain and other technologies to transform payments. In March 2019, Facebook listed 22 vacancies in blockchain roles including fields such as marketing, UX design, and product management.

Clearly, the Facebook-blockchain trend is well underway and will soon impact marketers who use the ads platform.

Learn More: 3 Reasons Why you Need a Blockchain Marketing Strategy in 2019

3 Possibilities for Blockchain on Facebook

We have come up with this list of possible outcomes for blockchain’s usage by Facebook.

1.Facecoin Could Transform Digital Ad Monetization

 

Facebook has tried to popularize digital wallets as a viable payment method, and blockchain could be the ideal vehicle to realize this vision. A challenge with digital wallets is the lack of localization, impeding small and mid-sized businesses from using ad platforms. A blockchain-based cryptocurrency will allow Facebook to cut through these barriers. We also imagine a scenario where a product sale is monetized instead of the ad – the product is directly linked to a micropayment so that Facebook is paid only when the sale is completed. Marketers could save hugely on ad spends through this outcome-based approach as enabled by this blockchain trend.

Learn More: The Transactions That Blockchain Will Really Transform

2.Blockchain-based Authentication Could Give Marketers More Accurate Audience Insights

 

The success of your marketing campaign depends on the quality of the underlying data. Facebook’s biggest advantage is that it has amassed a sizeable repository of customer data that can be turned into marketing insights. However, Facebook also has a large inactive user base, millions of fake profiles, and at least 50 million profiles of people who are no longer alive. Blockchain will ensure the accuracy and immediacy of information stored on Facebook, regularly verifying the blocks so that marketers have access to only the right audience, without wasting any precious impressions.

Learn More: What the Ad Industry Gets Wrong About Blockchain

3.Blockchain Could be Applied for Stringent Marketing Data Privacy and Accountability

 

In many ways, it was after the Cambridge Analytica scandal that the Facebook-blockchain trend really gained popularity. It is easy to see why: blockchain is an immutable technology that securely stores data without any possibility of tampering, ensuring transparency and end-to-end accountability. There is no singular party with control over customer information, meaning that the data cannot be exploited for unethical purposes. In February 2019, Facebook acqui-hired blockchain startup Chainspace, which is a smart contracts platform centered around the principle of transparency. As a marketer, you could look forward to a world where campaign targeting and personalization does not infringe upon individual privacy, paving the way for more principled marketing models.

Learn More: Why Permission-Based Engagement is the Future of Marketing

Key Takeaways for Marketers

Despite no confirmation from Facebook on its recent moves in embracing the blockchain trend, the technology community is abuzz with rumors – and these aren’t unfounded. In the next few months, we are looking at:

  • The application of blockchain technology for smarter identity management and data privacy on Facebook
  • The public release of Facecoin (or an equivalent), which has the potential to revolutionize ad monetization
  • A fundamental realignment of the audience insights that currently power Facebook marketing campaigns

     

Learn More: Two Views – Blockchain and the Future of the Internet

In line with other technology giants such as Microsoft, IBM, and even Salesforce, Facebook is finally ready to unveil exciting innovations in blockchain technology.

The question is, are you ready for the change?

What are your predictions for blockchain trends in 2019? Share your insights with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

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