Barely a week after we learned that Google Plus is going to start making us opt out of having our thoughts and personal reviews used by corporations in "social ads," Facebook has turned around and decided to go after the impressionable, highly profitable teen market. In contrast to Google, which said it would exclude everyone under 18 from its social ad-making, Facebook has just loosened privacy protections for teens, allowing their public posts to become fair game to advertisers. In other words, it's come time for Facebook to cash in on its great and humongous social network in a big way, and they're scrambling to get the teen market monetized before all teenagers get bored and move on to a different social network, as some already are.

Facebook made the announcement Wednesday, and their stock price was up by the end of the day 3.3%, closing at $51.13.

The move comes just a week after Facebook also ditched a privacy setting, which they claimed only a small percentage of users were employing, that allowed users to dictate who could

We can imagine there's going to be a lot of crying foul from privacy activists in the wake of this announcement. But Facebook is going to stand their ground because of the competition they face from places like Twitter, where teenagers can say whatever the hell they want to whomever they want, even if that includes sending racy pictures of themselves to porn stars, or TV stars, or politicians. (By the way, kids, that could be considered child porn, and you shouldn't do that.) "Across the Web, teens can have a very public voice on those [other] services," says Nicky Jackson Colaco, "and it would be shame if they could not do that on Facebook." A shame, obviously, to Facebook's advertisers, who know full well that it's teenagers that scream the praises of sneakers and Jamba Juice more than adults ever would — and Jamba Juice, for one, would probably very much like to capture and repost those screams.

Colaco stressed that they still had protections for teenagers that made it hard for strangers to search for their profiles, and all new profiles of children and teens will be automatically set up to only share information with friends, not friends of friends as they had before.

[Washington Post]