In an effort to boost the effectiveness and control it has over ads, Facebook announced some changes via blog post on Thursday that will make ads more targeted, but will also properly incorporate user feedback.
Now, when Facebook presents an ad to users, the company will factor in previous web browser history to target and serve more relevant ads. This is a variation on what users are used to seeing on the web, which normally involves the company using cookies to serve an ad showing off a particular product already viewed on another site. Now, instead, Facebook will cull information based on the browser history in total to serve related ads — for example, a new soccer jersey for someone who is actively tracking the World Cup on multiple media sites. If it sounds a little too Big Brother, users can opt out of this type of ad, but not through the site — users must make the proper changes found on the Digital Advertising Alliance opt-out page.
While users will never be able to get rid of ads on Facebook entirely, they will now be able to give feedback on the types of ads they see. They can now click on the top right corner of a Facebook ad and ask “Why am I seeing this ad?” Facebook will then block any future ads from that brand and allow users to edit their lists of interests to receive better ads in the long term.
Check out both features in the video below:
It’s unlikely to sway users who are annoyed by Facebook’s ad process in general (as previously mentioned, it doesn’t affect the number of ads that will be served in the News Feed), but the new controls will give users some agency in deciding what they will see while they’re keeping up with friends.