Facebook shows users more details about data used to target ads




  • Users will now be able to see the interests and categories used to target them and where the information came from.

    Facebook is introducing new details to its “Why I’m seeing this ad” feature for users. It now shows the interests and categories used to target the ad and how the ad targeting information was collected — meaning, the website or Facebook Page a user may have visited. The tool links to options to hide ads from an advertiser or remove ad targeting data from their profiles.

    Facebook Ad Preferences (a page within User Settings) also has been updated to include two sections: One displaying the advertisers who have uploaded a list with the user’s information, and another that lists businesses that have uploaded and shared lists with the user’s information.

    “In this section, you’ll see the business that initially uploaded a list, along with any advertiser who used that list to serve you an ad within the last 90 days,” writes Facebook Product Manager Sreethu Thulasi.

    Ad Preference pages will list an advertiser’s phone number or email address as well.

    Why we should care

    Facebook’s efforts to be more transparent with users regarding their advertising practices requires the company to pull back the curtain on many advertisers’ ad targeting strategies. The move means marketers need to be using legitimate resources to collect data and create audience lists.

    There is always the chance a user may not be happy with an advertiser targeting them, even if their information was collected appropriately. If more and more users begin taking advantage of Facebook’s ad targeting controls, advertisers could see a drop in reach for their campaigns.

    The reality is social platforms are shifting, forcing advertisers to reconsider their strategies. Savvy marketers understand the need for more transparency in terms of ad targeting, and that an ad platform that delivers an honest, authentic experience can be good for both consumers and brands alike.

    More on the news

    • Facebook first launched “Why am I seeing this ad” feature more than five years ago, giving users the option to hide specific ads in their feed.
    • Earlier this year, Facebook began showing users how advertisers and third parties use their contact information to target ads on Facebook.
    • In April, Facebook added even more information to the “Why am I seeing this ad” feature, adding the upload date of a Custom Audience used to target the ad and the agencies or marketing partners that worked with the advertiser to create the ad.

    About The Author

    Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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