Facebook has been in the news as of late regarding the amount of data they have collected on their users, and in turn given that data to an analytics company which was later used to possibly influence it’s users based on their affiliations and likes. In the real estate field, we know that the use of social media to interact, engage, and educate is super important. I decided to take the plunge, and here is what I found out by downloading my Facebook data.
Many of us generate business and clients using platforms like Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook). What we don’t realize is the more we use platforms like Facebook, the more information they obtain about us. Like many of you, I’m not oblivious to the fact that data is always being collected, as we tell the world about our day, what we like/don’t like, and input phone numbers and emails on various websites. The larger issue is how this data is used and by whom. I decided to find out what data Facebook has stored on me and man was I in for a surprise!
How to Download your Facebook Data
You might be wondering how to download the data Facebook has stored on you. It’s easy.
Go to Settings–General–Download a Copy of your Facebook Data.
Once you click this link it will send an email letting you know it is downloading, then another email once it is complete. It may take a bit, depending on how long you have had a Facebook account and your activity level. Once you receive your Facebook data history you might be overwhelmed with what you find.
What I Found Out
I found out that everything you have ever done on Facebook is recorded. The data you receive is broken up into 10 sections. The first section I checked out were the companies that have my data and personal information. This is stored under your “Ads.” What ads have you liked, clicked on, or bought something through. Every single interest I have was listed, along with the other companies that have my contact information and are re-targeting me. If you didn’t know someone, but read this ads page, you would have a pretty good idea what they were about in a few minutes.
One thing I didn’t realize was that every contact I have every had on Facebook or in my cell phone(s) was listed. Even people that were no longer my Facebook friends and I had deleted their contact information from my phone was listed. Ex-girlfriends, acquaintances, ex-coworkers, and others…all there. Apparently, you can never really delete anyone’s contact information because it lives somewhere, and that somewhere is Facebook. As a Realtor, if you are looking to re-capture your database, you can do so by going to this section.
Facebook Messages Live Forever
Very interestingly, it listed every “Friend” I had ever added on Facebook, people who had unfriended me, and people I had sent friend requests to but never accepted. It also provided every Facebook messenger conversation in I had ever had. In total, I had just under 200 conversations dating back to my “join date” in 2009. Mostly these conversations had been deleted from my Facebook account and out of my memory forever…not so fast. For fun I clicked on some of them to read. Many conversations were great to read with a big smile on my face, with others not as enjoyable, as I was quickly reminded of some not so great moments.
I realized that the end, by downloading my Facebook data, that any content I have added and will add to the platform has been and is recorded. I also looked at it as a massive CRM for my online social media life. Scary as it may be, if I need to fetch past information that I thought was gone forever, I know that it sits in my Facebook download.
In the real estate space, we leverage social media platforms like Facebook to help expand our reach and also engage with others to grow relationships. This is now done knowing our every conversation, click and interactions are tracked For our benefit or deterrent is what we are trying to find out. Take a moment and download your Facebook data history. I think what you find will be surprising.
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