Interest Based Ads and More Transparency


Facebook Ads

Facebook wasn’t doing interest based advertising until now?  Huh?

Most users of Facebook know that the ads they see are selected by Facebook based on information on their profile, what they have “liked” and interests they have selected.  Most have also noticed that if they visit a web site off Facebook like Zappos, they may get “retargeted” ads on Facebook for Zappos. Similarly, Facebook works with online and offline retailers to help them buy ads on Facebook aimed at users who have been their customers.

Today Facebook, with much fanfare, has announced that it is launching an interest based advertising program. What’s new? Well, the one thing Facebook hasn’t been doing is selling ads targeted based on the web sites and apps you use outside of Facebook. An individual advertiser could buy an ad, based on your visit to a particular site – but many advertisers couldn’t buy an ad based on your visits to many sites. Now they can.

Got it? Ads on Facebook are selected in an attempt to make them relevant based on your profile, and your activity off of Facebook. And now they will use more activity off Facebook.

What is new is a major new effort to show users extensive detail about the many categories that are used to select ads, and to let users add or edit many categories of interest. This is one of the most extensive moves to give users a deep look at the data used to target ads that we have seen and should make some users feel more in control of the experience.

Don’t like it?  Click on the icon on every targeted ad and turn off the interest based targeting. On mobile, use the limit ad tracking settings on iOS or Android (which will actually tell all apps you dont want interest based ads, not just Facebook).

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