Most Facebook users already know that the social network stores various data about them (visited websites, reactions to posts, etc.) and then gives them out to marketers. However, that doesn't seem to be good enough for the company as it now plans to offer advertisers even more details, such as data about the topics of your post or relevant information taken from the conversations you have with your friends on the website. So, if you use the network to talk about the cool T-shirt that you just bought or the cool pair of sneakers you saw at the mall, expect to also receive ads targeted around those subjects.
As far as we know, this project, called "topic data", aims to deliver even better targeted ads, an end-goal that benefits manufacturers, marketers as well as the users. In order to achieve this goal, Facebook partnered up with DataSift, a company that specializes in gathering and analyzing information from social posts, blogs and news feeds. In the early stages of the project, only a select number of US and UK companies (which already work with DataSift) will benefit from the gathered information.
Even though the social network already provides marketers with a bunch of tools that help target ads based on the user's likes, interests, location, etc., this new addition is actually quite helpful. Topic Data doesn't directly improve ad-targeting, but it will undoubtedly help point advertisers in the right direction. According to Facebook, all the data gathered will be anonymized and aggregated (so your exact name won't be included in the information shared between companies) and the Facebook Messenger app will be excluded from the data gathering process.