Jun 26 2016

More Changes to the Way Facebook Selects Ads for Your Viewing Pleasure

Facebook is a double-edged sword for many of us who are both Facebook advertisers and Facebook users, especially when it comes to privacy and advertising.

Last week, Facebook once again changed how they determine which ads are most relevant to Facebook users. Now, they’re not just learning about your interests through the things you click and like within Facebook, they’re also tracking the sites that you visit outside Facebook. Facebook’s positioning of these changes, is to suggest they are:

  • Giving you more control over the ads you see.
  • Letting you understand why you are seeing specific ads.
  • Providing you a way to remove interests so that you don’t see ads related to those interests.

As a Facebook advertiser, any change that lets us better target our audience can only be seen as a good thing—rather than advertising to many people who are not interested in the products and services we’re advertising, these changes should mean more quality views and a higher click-through rate.

But as a regular Facebook user, the idea that Facebook is following me around the web and taking note of the sites I visit does seem a tad invasive. And according to The Washington Post, these changes are drawing criticism for invading users’ privacy. If you decide you want to opt out of this targeted advertising, you have a couple of options:

  • Check your settings in Facebook itself.
  • Use the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Opt Out application.

Note that the Digital Advertising Alliance also offers a program for businesses to let their customers opt out of behavioral advertising, for an annual fee.

Whether you’re a Facebook advertiser or user, it pays to stay on top of these sorts of changes, simply so you understand the choices available to you and their repercussions for your privacy.