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As increasing sectors of the internet migrate to Facebook as a deployment platform (Zygna, etc.), a new effort aims to spread the preference aggregation features to include things users either own or would like to own. By allowing users to add Own and Want buttons to their profile, users can highlight both a Wishlist and a list of things they can already brag to their friends about owning. The startup app fromPayvment, attempts to move Facebook more squarely into an e-commerce platform, dubbed f-commerce.
While this might be handy for relatives searching for the right gift for you, it also does a lot of the heavy-lifting for advertisers. Currently, users Like certain things they may visit, but the motivations behind liking something isn’t always clear. On the other hand, declaring an item as something you want, can be useful for advertisers with products in that space to have a much more accurate cross-section of products they may begin to target you with.
Also, from a list of what you may already own, advertisers would begin to understand what may motivate you to go beyond simply wishing for a product, to actually spending money on it. This can be a boon for understanding the psychology behind purchase decisions, something advertisers have been lusting after for years.
It also may provide a shopping list for physical theft. Since a criminal searching your profile might now know you have an Xbox 360, it’s a fair bet if he breaks in he’s got a good chance of finding what he’s looking for. This, combined with some users’ tendencies to report where they are from mobile devices, can alert scammers when you’d be away from home, and a rough timeframe for how much time they have for the scams before you may return.
Of course, it’s also possible to lie about what you own, selecting, for example, large vicious Rottweiler dog , missile firing security system and the like, and it’s unlikely anyone would check (except your friends). This may also prove a boon for those who live in their mom’s basement to select Ferrari and such.
Now may be a very good time to review your security settings, as we’ve written about here and here, and also watch who you friend on Facebook, as they now may have more incentive than ever to pry into what you’re doing, where you are, and now what you have and would like to have. Especially watch for friends of friends, who you may know only casually, it might be a good time to review what information those more casual contacts may have access to about you.
Author Cameron Camp, ESET