Bloomberg News

Facebook Users Getting Option to Fine-Tune Advertisements

June 12, 2014

Facebook Inc. (FB:US) will let users see why they get certain advertisements in their News Feeds, a feature that may encourage people to suggest more relevant ads and boost ad revenue.

The social network’s members will soon have the option of clicking on the upper-right corner of a promotion and get a “why am I seeing this?” prompt, Facebook said in a blog post today. Users can review what Facebook thinks they are interested in, then add or remove categories of interests, depending on how much they want marketers to know, the company said.

The operator of the world’s largest social network is responding to feedback from people who want to know why the company is serving particular ads. Facebook’s ad software automates those decisions based on a member’s browsing and app histories, and the new option could lead to more certainty for marketers seeking a more targeted audience.

“If you don’t want us to use the websites and apps you use to show you more relevant ads, we won’t,” Facebook said in the blog post. “If you’re not interested in electronics, you can remove electronics from your ad interests.”

Google Inc. (GOOGL:US) provides similar options on its Ads Settings page, where it details a gender, age range and list of interests for a user based on their searching history and Google profile.

Facebook has been giving people more control over their settings after years of criticism over its privacy policies. Last month, the company said that the posts of new members who begin sharing on Facebook will only be visible to their friends, as opposed to the public. The company also added options for users to decide what Facebook information they share with third-party applications.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Reed Stevenson


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