In order to comply with a housing discrimination settlement, Facebook is building a tool to make all housing advertisements on its site searchable.
MarketWatch reports that the discrimination case was filed by civil rights groups concerned that Facebook was allowing advertisers to unfairly target users on the basis of age, gender, or zip code. As part of the solution, Facebook announced that it would be rolling out a tool allowing users to “view all current housing ads in the U.S. targeted to different places across the country, regardless of whether the ads are shown to you.”
This could potentially position Facebook as a competitor to massive real estate sites like Zillow. But it could also make realtor’s jobs harder.
“The bigger news for me is that Facebook is going to make the targeting less precise for Realtors,” Hahn said. “In the last 5 years, there’s been a giant trend of brokers, Realtors, and marketing companies using Facebook for lead generation because Zillow has gotten expensive. And now Facebook is going to make that advertising less effective to comply with regulation. Literally the fact that you can no longer target by zip code, there’s nothing more important than that.”