As just one example, the platform may show users posts from their friends or pages they have liked or suggest groups and events that align with the user's interests. Using data to curate the content and connections users see, Facebook aims to keep users engaged and returning to the platform.


Where Does Big Data Come From?

The custodians of big data as it is are majorly large tech corporations that handle different types of user data. This data is generated by individuals, organisations, and devices daily. It may come from various sources, including social media platforms like Facebook, online shopping and search histories, financial transactions, and sensor data from the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.


Social Media and Big Data

The relationship between big data and social media platforms like Facebook is complex. Social media platforms generate a vast amount of data through the activities of their users, such as posting content, liking and commenting on posts, and connecting with other users.

This data can be used to improve the user experience, conduct market research, and drive business growth. In recent years, social media has evolved to cater to businesses, and many online sites have a direct link to their social media channels.


Monetising Big Data

Facebook sells  large chunks of its big data to companies and businesses, which derive insights to evaluate consumer characteristics based on age, demography, likes, and other unique factors. These insights create data-driven ads for products and services more tuned to customers' needs and preferences.


Other uses of big data for businesses include:

  • Supply chain optimisation - Big data can optimise the flow of goods and materials through supply chains, improving efficiency and reducing costs.
  • Fraud detection and prevention - By analysing patterns in data, businesses can identify and prevent fraudulent activities.
  • Risk assessment and management - Big data can be used to identify and assess potential risks and to implement strategies to mitigate or manage those risks.
  • Marketing and advertising - Businesses can use data to target their marketing efforts and create more effective advertising campaigns.


Privacy and Legal Concerns

While Facebook's use of data has helped the company achieve tremendous success, it has also faced controversy and legal challenges related to data privacy. In the past, the company has been accused of online monitoring, collecting and sharing user data without proper consent, and failing to adequately protect user privacy.

Today, Facebook indicated it has implemented stricter privacy policies and given users more control over their data by allowing them to choose what information they share and with whom.


The Power of Big Data for Businesses

Data is the biggest asset and biggest challenge for retailers worldwide. It's the key to understanding and engaging their consumers and lets them efficiently and effectively plan their product and service development. Businesses can leverage big data from Facebook's vast databases to make more effective decisions.