Facebook will soon show users ads based in part on “information from some of the websites and apps you use.” Facebook has long displayed ads based on your user profile (age, gender, location) and on pages you visit on Facebook, but the company will now be using information from other sites and apps that embed snipits of Facebook code. The type of behavioral advertising is very common on the web and is one of the reasons we often see ads based on sites we’ve visited or products we’ve searched for as we travel around the web.
Disclosure: Facebook is one of the companies that provides financial support for ConnectSafely.org.
The company is also providing users with more information about why they are seeing certain types of ads as well as more control over the types of ads they will see.
Control is good
The ad preference tools will allow you to add or remove interest areas. If, for example, you’re in the market for a new car, you might want to specify that interest. Since viewing ads is one of the prices we pay for free media, you may as well have control over the types of ads you see. Its better for the consumer and better for the advertiser. By the same token, if you’re tired of seeing ads for products you’re not interested in, you can remove those categories.
In a blog post that explains the new policy, Facebook said that users who don’t want the company “to use the websites and apps you use to show you more relevant ads, we won’t.” They suggest that you “opt out of this type of ad targeting in your web browser using the industry-standard Digital Advertising Alliance opt out, and on your mobile devices using the controls that iOS and Android provide.”
The ad control tool will be rolling out to Facebook users in the United States over the next few weeks and will eventually be offered in other countries as well.