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Facebook will start tracking which stores you go to

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Facebook wants to show advertisers that their ads make you visit their bricks-and-mortar stores and buy their stuff. To do this, they’ll use phones’ location services to track whether people actually walk into the stores after seeing an ad.

The company’s new Local Awareness ad features will be fascinating for businesses and depressing for the rest of us. Businesses can now include a map with their ad to show users where the closest store is in case they want that $12 dress right now. So far, so good. Then, Facebook’s Offline Conversions API will match in-store visit data (tracked using the phone’s location services) with Facebook advertising data. So, H&M won’t be able to see if you individually visited after its “store locator” sent you strong subliminal messages, but it will be able to match visits with the number of people who saw that ad in their feed and felt compelled to walk in.

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