Advertisers on global ad network Facebook can now pinpoint exactly which devices and computers people use to buy stuff through online ads.
"Facebook already offers targeting, delivery and conversion measurement across devices. With the new cross-device report, advertisers are now able to view the devices on which people see ads and the devices on which conversions subsequently occur," the website said in a blog post.
"For instance, a marketer can view the number of customers that clicked an ad on an iPhone but then later converted on desktop, or the number of people that saw an ad on desktop but then converted on an Android tablet."
The idea is to get an idea of when and where people buy things while browsing the web. This kind of anonymized data is attractive to advertisers because it means they can target their ad spend where it's most likely to convince users to buy.
"Tracking click and conversion data deterministically across devices has confirmed what we know to be true: mobile ads drive commerce everywhere," said Josh McFarland, CEO of TellApart, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer.
"This new reporting from Facebook has been a game-changer in our ability to help clients like Neiman Marcus and Sur La Table correctly value and invest in their mobile ads efforts."
This may seem creepy to some, and ditching Facebook's handheld app will limit some of the data that can be collected. But it's services like these that keep Facebook free, and provide those all-important returns for shareholders. ®