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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Facebook Adds LGBT-friendly Categories. Advertisers Shrug

Facebook has introduced two relationship status indicators aimed at the LGBT community in the US: now available are "In a domestic partnership" and "In a civil union." These join Facebook's other categories, such as Single, In a relationship, Engaged, Married, It's complicated, In an open relationship, Widowed, Separated and Divorced. For advertisers, though, the new categories are meaningless - outside of the fact in general Facebook has become more Gay-friendly.
Advertisers, All Facebook points out, don't have the option to target users based on these types, or any other types than "Single", "In a relationship", "Engaged", or "Married". Facebook has been slowly increasing the number of relationship status types, it also notes, pointing to the addition of "Widowed" in September 2009, and more recently "Divorced" and "Separated".
None, however, are targetable through the ad tool, All Facebook said.
It is ironic because Facebook on - when else? Valentine's Day released research it conducted to see if a person's Facebook relationship status affects how positive and negative they are. It examined the use of positive and negative words in the status updates of all English speakers over the course of one week in January. Not surprisingly, the data showed people who are in a relationship or marriage are happier than everyone else.
The data, which did not distinguish between straight and gay Facebook users, also found that people who do not disclose their relationship status are about 50% more negative than everyone else.


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