Facebook is mining information from users' real-time conversations and updates in a test to improve its results from targeted advertising campaigns.
The new advertising delivery method is currently being tested on 1 per cent of Facebook users worldwide, which equates to around 6 million people.
No Facebook Chat mining
"We are currently testing a feature that simply helps surface relevant advertising more quickly," a Facebook spokesperson told TechRadar earlier today, reassuring us that the data that will be mined for targeted ads will not be taken from Facebook Chat conversations, but only from your Facebook Profile status updates.
This means that, essentially, anything you add in your status update could well, at some point in the near future, be used to direct targeted advertising your way via your Facebook home page.
Facebook has been using information from status updates and wall posts to deliver advertising to users for a while now, but this latest test is the first time it will be delivering targeted ads to users in real-time.
The appeal to advertisers is clear, with Facebook offering the opportunity to talk directly to potential customers at the point at which they express a desire to buy a particular product or service, whether that be a take-out pizza from Dominos or a new car from Volkswagen.
"The long-held promise of local is to deliver timely, relevant and measurable ads which drive actions such as commerce, so if Facebook is moving in this direction, it's brilliant," Reggie Bradford, CEO of Facebook software and marketing company Vitrue told AdAge.com.
"This is a massive market shift everyone is pivoting toward, led by services such as Groupon. Facebook has the power of the graph of me and my friends placing them in the position to dominate this medium."
Facebook has yet to reveal any further plans for its long-term real-time marketing strategy, with the current tests said to be going on indefinitely.