If you are a Facebook user in the United States, you now have many other gender options besides just “male” and “female”. Facebook worked with many different advocacy groups to come up with the new gender categories, some of which include “transgender”, “cisgender”, “intersex”, and “neither”. According to the former vice president of GLAAD, Allison Palmer, Facebook users across the country had been asking for the ability to reflect their gender accurately. Now all Facebook users in the United States have the ability to reflect the gender status of their choice.
I think that this a huge step in the world of social media and it is reflecting the current social issues that we are encountering in 2014. The subject of gender status is one that has been at the forefront of discussion for a while now. The fact that people can now properly express their gender any way they would like on such a widely used platform is quite a step.
It’s a little strange to think about how this new change could have an effect on social media marketing. What will happen with this new set of data once people begin to edit their gender options setting? Though users have the ability to control whom they share their custom gender with, I think that this could still have an effect on marketing in social media platforms. I think these users will be targeted using their gender status, just as being labeled as “male” or “female” has always been a part of targeting certain demographics.