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FC Barcelona has launched a Facebook app called 'FCB Alert', which it hopes will allow the club to engage better with the 28m fans it has on the social network.

Designed by MicroStrategy, the app includes exclusive content, news, interactive features and the ability to buy merchandise within Facebook.

Fans can interact with games, polls and a range of other multimedia content which can also then be shared with other Facebook users.

Of course delivering relevant messages to 28m global fans is no easy task, but MicroStrategy’s app tailors content specifically for different groups or individuals based on their respective interests, demographics, and geography using the data that exists within Facebook.

FC Barcelona board member for new technologies Didac Lee said Alert would allow the club to connect with its fanbase on a deeper level.

FCB Alert is the perfect way to reach the club’s tremendous Facebook following, both locally and worldwide, with exclusive offers and exciting news.”

The tailored aspect of the app should ensure that fans don’t ignore the posts, and should encourage a higher level of shares.

However, in order to receive relevant information users must first give their permission for the app to access 11 separate categories of personal data.

This includes responding to event requests on the user’s behalf, accessing the user’s data even when they’re not using the app and information other people have shared with them.

The privacy policy reads: “Even if you have not explicitly allowed us access to any of your Facebook Information, we may collect information about you when your friends on Facebook allow access to and use the Service.”

While the majority of Barcelona fans would probably be happy to give FCB Alert access to such information, we aren't, and as such can’t confirm how user friendly the app is.

However - even if a small percentage of the club's Facebook community sign up to use the app, MicroStrategy will be able to collect a huge amount of data on Barcelona’s fanbase - and also their fans’ friends.

This information could then be used “to enable third parties to deliver targeted advertising”.

As such, FCB Alert could prove to be a fantastic case study for Facebook as it looks to prove its worth as an advertising platform.

David Moth

Published 23 March, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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