Facebook Ads

March 19, 2008

I remember the ads being a lot less intrusive when I first joined Facebook 2 years ago. There were your regular online degree ads sprinkled here and there with perhaps an Online Poker ad or two, but it has recently gotten ridiculous. Every time I log in, the first thing I usually see is the text written in the biggest font on the left side navigation which says “Wish You Weren’t Lonely?” My profile had listed my relationship status as “single,” but that ad makes one hell of an assumption! Another ad that I see quite often is one that says “Shopping for a Real Man?” I’m curious as to whether this one is also advertised to people listed as being in a relationship…

When I first signed up for Gmail a few years ago, it was common knowledge that they displayed text based on keywords from your email, but I feel like Facebook is taking advantage of its broad user base and trying to ninja us all! This is not acceptable.

Another type of ad that I found annoying was a Roots ad that used a text overlay with my friend’s name on it- as if she was endorsing their products. I looked through the privacy settings this morning, and learned that to disable this you must go into the “News Feed and Mini Feed” section and then click on the “Social Ads” tab.

Here is how Facebook describes these ads:

“Facebook occasionally pairs advertisements with relevant social actions from a user’s friends to create Social Ads. Social Ads make advertisements more interesting and more tailored to you and your friends. These respect all privacy rules. You may opt out of appearing in your friends’ Social Ads below.”

Ugh, creepy.

I have since altered my profile to not include my sex or relationship status, but these ads have not disappeared. I am curious as to whether it is because my past information is still stored or it just hasn’t been updated yet for ad purposes.

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