Social Media “the ultimate advertiser”


If you have any social media accounts such as facebook, twitter, and instagram then you are probably well aware of the power of these outlets. These social media applications provide the ability to connect with thousands if not millions of people. There are people from all different backgrounds and cultures. This provides companies and businesses with  great advertising opportunity. It is a gateway for businesses to advertise to a large portion of the population. This population varies in age, ethnicity, demographics, and around the world. The reason it has spread so quickly is because these tools are free (Lesson 9, PSU Commentary notes, 2017).

One of the many ways Facebook and twitter have been so impacting is because of its use as a news outlet. The addiction of social media leads to people depending on Facebook or Twitter for their news report. A majority of U.S. adults – 62% – get news on social media, and 18% do so often, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center (Gotfried, Shearer. 2016). I can personally log into Facebook and have information on the latest sports games, politics, or any big event that has occurred around the world because of people sharing on Facebook. There are videos, posts, news reports, and posts which influence our views on the news just like CNN and Fox each lean towards different sides of political parties.

With the addiction of social media it allows the user to be tracked. Have you ever noticed the advertisements on Facebook are always about things you are interested in. For example, if you are posting about Iwatches and interested in Apple’s latest product facebook will actually track your interest and display advertisements about Apple. Facebook sells this information to companies. The companies are well researched on the person using social media because it tracks your every move. It knows what favorite sports teams you like, your political status, if you have any kids, what you drive, and what you talk about with your online friends. This creates a powerful weapon to be able to influence your mind into purchasing whatever it is they are trying to sell you.

The tracking of your social media page has also transpired onto other websites such as amazon, google, and bing. With the high use of smartphones with built-in microphones google has the ability to use the microphones to advertise products to you. It sounds crazy,but if you are talking about a product for a week. Let’s say it is one of those new finger spinners that are becoming increasingly popular. It gathers your age, gender, what websites you visit, the content of your gmail account to then advertise certain products to you.You will start noticing that advertisements on google will be for those spinners because it tracks what your interest are to be able to advertise specifically for you.

With the expansion of tools on social media such as checking into places it provides advertisement for many businesses. We are able to check into a location anytime we visit it in person on social media. This allows us to be tracked and give social media more information on how to advertise to us. It provides information on what content to advertise as well. This is one of the ways that Facebook makes money by providing advertisement slots that display on the users page while they are scrolling.


Facebook. (2011). Statistics. Retrieved online at:

NATO. (2011). Social media: power to the people? Retrieved online at:

Pew Research Center. (2016). News use across social media platforms 2016. Retrieved online at:

Schneider, F., Gruman, J., & Coutts, L. (2012) Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

1 comment

  1. Greetings,

    Great post and I think you raise some valid questions about the amount of data collected by social media outlets as a whole and how it is seen as an authoritative outlet for information. Moreover, one starling statistic you eluded to was how social media was a predominant means for news. I think culturally, we have become too accustom to the need for instant gratification and we need things (including news) to be given to us, since we do not have a lot of time during our busy schedules. However, it raises some challenges when social media is used as primary means of gathering information. For me, I think this shortcuts the critical thinking process. Part of being a critical thinker requires one to seek out multiple points of view, synthesize the informational parts of importance, and then render a judgement on the information. However, what if the information you are getting is distorted? Then you lack the resources to make a proper judgement and therefore make an error. However, how can social psychology change this? What type of intervention might help prevent this from happening? We have identified the problem, seeing social media as an authoritative source. Perhaps we could enhance critical thinking skills. This could be done by teaching children the process at an early age by trained teacher who focuses on developing critical thinking. Moreover, through parent/teacher interactions, parents can be taught the process as well. We could set a goal for children to increase their critical thinking abilities by 40% by the end of the school year following implementation of the intervention. Finally, students could be tested and measured, not on their ability to take a test, but critically think and reason their way towards an answer. Like any other test, their results could be measured to see if the intervention made progress and if not, it can be re-tuned to be more effective.

    Again, great job!

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