Are ads becoming "creepy" in their targeting?
Have you ever been scrolling on Facebook (or Instagram) and seen an ad, and thought how on earth does Facebook know this!? For example - you're targeted with an ad suggesting you haven't ordered from Deliveroo in a while. Or yesterday you spent a lot of time online shopping, and suddenly today, you are being targeted ONLY with online boutiques (guilty!). You may already know that Facebook allows advertisers and brands to target users based on their interests, but did you know you are able to load in customer data? Not only that - you can now see which brands have loaded in information about you, the consumer!
How does it work? There are two ways:
1. Click the three little dots next to a sponsored posts and select “Why am I seeing this?” - here you will see for example "you're seeing this ad because BRAND wants to reach people who have engaged with them or their content". Facebook is now providing more detailed targeting, including interests or categories that matched you with a specific ad. It also promises to be also be clearer where that information came from (e.g. the website you may have visited or Page you may have liked).
2. The most interesting part to consumers - which has newly been released, is the detail you can now see about the ads you're targeted with. To test it out:
- Click the arrow in the top right of your Facebook desktop > and select 'settings' from the drop down
- On the left hand side you will see an option 'Ads', select this and you will now see all the information about you, which is available for brands to target you with.
Have a play around - when you click on "Advertisers and Businesses" you will be able to see which companies are uploading and using your information, as well as remove any unwanted businesses!
As a consumer, should you be worried?
No! The most common thing we hear in the advertising industry is ads can be "creepy" and follow you around the internet - which is true. However, we are in a world where paid advertising is an unavoidable aspect of being online - so wouldn't you rather see ads that are relevant to you? Transparency is always a good thing. You should feel comfort in being able to see who is targeting them with ads, and more importantly, why! It puts you back in the drivers seat to control what ads you're exposed to online.
What this means for you, as a business:
As a business, this transparency is further emphasising the plethora of Facebook's ad targeting - and outlining just how detailed you can get with targeting your ideal customer online.
Read more on the Tech Crunch article