Facebook updates policy on targeted ads

In a move that will see an improvement to the transparency behind targeted content online, Facebook has introduced a number of updates to its suite of ad tools, offering Facebook users more information as to why they are shown particular adverts. 

As part of the series of updates, users will be offered a more detailed explanation regarding targeting information, offering more than a simple demographic match or internet history.

In a blog post product manager, Sreethu Thulasi wrote: “In the past, ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’ highlighted one or two of the most relevant reasons, such as demographic information or that you may have visited a website. Now, you’ll see more detailed targeting, including the interests or categories that matched you with a specific ad.

“It will also be clearer where that information came from (e.g. the website you may have visited or Page you may have liked), and we’ll highlight controls you can use to easily adjust your experience.”

The social media giant has also explained that its ad preferences will also be updated, which will deliver more information from businesses that have uploaded details relating to customer’s personal data such as an email address.

Users will be able to utilise a tab with two sections; one tab will list the advertisers that have uploaded a list with a user’s information and advertised to it, while the other tab will provide a list of businesses which have uploaded and shared a list with a user’s information.

The decision comes after growing pressure from the European Union, which has called upon the platform to ‘clearly explain’ the ways in which it utilises user data.

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