One of the most criticised aspect of Facebook is probably the right-in-your-face advertisment. Most probably, we all get annoyed by them. Most of you might not realize this, but a lot of ads you see on Facebook are targeted. Uptil now, you couldn’t tell. But Facebook intends to change that. This comes amidst a whole set of new changes, such as the introduction of Developers Live, Graph Search, Voice Call service, and so on. Facebook will now let people know which ads are targeted, so that they can choose a further action to perform based on how they react to the information.
Advertisers usually divide customers/audience based on demographics, geographics, and/or their behavior. They then target these divided segments with different strategies. Facebook provides advertisers with the tools and information about users, so they can pick up a target audience, and display ads for that auience only. For example, ads about women’s fashion might only appear to female users. In that case, the femals users are said to be a target audience for which ads have been ‘targeted’.
Advertisers divide target audience on the basis of many other factors besides gender, such as age, location, nationality, language, interests, and even religion. Normally, most Facebook users won’t know that they’re being targeted, and that the ads they see have actually been refined for them. Facebook now intends to inform people about such targeted ads, so that users can take an appropriate action based on how they feel about the notion. For example, they might not be comfortable with being targeted. So they could choose to opt out of those ads.
Users will get the optiong when they click on the ‘x’ button next to ads. This will display an AdChoices icon which will let them know that the ad was targeted. Clicking on that ‘x’ button will provide an option to view more info about that ad. Users will then be able to view details, and if they don’t like them, they can simply disable ads from that particular ad network.
This feature will be fully functional by March. And although it seems to be conflicting with some FTC guidelines that say that ads should explicitly mention when they’re targeted, it does seem to have gotten ‘some’ people excited. Let’s just see how this new features works out. Stay tuned for more updates on Facebook. Cheers 🙂