The new advertising feature allows business, both local and global, to target someone linked to their business through a phone number via their Facebook account. To put it simply, say you have signed up for a credit card, entering all your personal details including your phone number, but then decided 6 months later you didn't want it and had the credit card cancelled. The credit card company would look into their database of everyone who signed up with them in the past, but are no longer with them any more, cross reference the phone numbers in their records with those linked to various Facebook accounts and begin placing ads on the news feeds of those individuals, advertising new credit cards or services they provide.
These advertisers can also choose to have the ad tracked, allowing them to see how successful their ads have been in getting users to convert. However, it will come as a relief of many to know that the advertisers don't actually get to see your number, they just use them for the purposes of retargeting. When a business, such as a ecommerce store, undertakes this service, the phone numbers used will be replaced with random characters by the system, making the user whose phone number it is anonymous.
If you are someone who doesn't like the idea of having a business target you with advertisements through your phone details, you should remove any records of your phone number that you have on your profile or any other pages on Facebook.
Facebook have made a rather big play towards providing a number of advertising options for businesses in recent months in order to generate some much needed revenue to improve a share price. While the share price is up to 24.32 from 21.21 at the beginning of the month, it's some way off the lofty 38.23 which the share had back in May.
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