Find Out What Facebook Thinks You're Interested In

Image: Facebook

If you use Facebook regularly, the site probably has a ton of information about you. It uses this information to determine which ads to show you. Now you can see what Facebook thinks about you. To get started, head to facebook.com/ads/preferences. Here, you'll find a large collection of "interests" Facebook thinks you have, sorted into categories. Even if you haven't explicitly Liked the Facebook page of certain interests or characteristics (like "Windows 10 user" or "Family-based households"), Facebook will often guess and place that guess there.

The entire ad preferences page is a fascinating look into how Facebook analyses and categorises its users. If you don't want a particular topic influencing the ads you see, you can remove it here. Obviously, you can't turn it off entirely, but you can tweak it.

It's unclear if this information affects what you see in the news feed. Presumably even if Facebook keeps a different database for ad preferences and story interests, they would line up similarly. Knowing that your feeds are only showing you part of the story is important for dealing with your own biases.

Facebook Ad Preferences [via The New York Times]


Comments

    If you look at the "why you see this ad", you realise that the advertisers are idiots.

    They make choices like "all Australians above 18" or "people who like movies". They are so unfocussed that they hit masses of people outside their real target audience. I get ads for small businesses in cities in other states that display precisely this lack of thought. Hopefully these people will realise they're throwing money away.

    The same goes for ads in Google mail. Honestly, with the amount of information they have about me you'd think they were deliberately taking the piss.

    I'd pay money for anyone who develop an app that blocks ALL advertising

    Here's a good example of advert-targeting that makes it difficult to escape nonsense correlations.

    Ad for some online card game. If I reject it, here are the choices:
    Hide all adverts from Lucky Time Slots
    See fewer adverts targeted to people who are interested in Classical music.

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