On Thursday, Facebook announced that it will be updating its ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’ and Ad Preferences features to give out more details to users about why they’re seeing a particular advert and also increased control over their data.
Facebook is trying to increase transparency on its platform, and earlier this year in April, also launched the new ‘Why am I seeing this post?’ feature and made improvements to ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’ feature, which was first launched in 2014.
At the time of the launch of the latter, users were given a tool to get an idea regarding why a certain kind of ad was showing up in their news feed. Factors that affected ad placements included demographics, interests and website visits. However, user feedback wasn’t all that positive and insisted on better transparency and control.
Now, when a user clicks on ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’, they’ll be shown more detailed explanations, including the interests or categories that made you a target for that ad. Users will also be able to see the source of the information, which could be a website you visited or a Facebook page that you liked.
As mentioned above, Facebook is also updating Ad Preferences that will show users more information about the businesses that have uploaded their information, like email address and phone number. Users will see two sections: Advertisers who uploaded a list with your info and advertised to it and Businesses who have uploaded and shared a list with your info.
While the first section will inform users about all the advertisers who uploaded a list with their information and used it to run at least one ad in the past week, the second one will show third parties and businesses that have uploaded or shared lists with user’s information and will also show you the advertisers who used those lists to show ads to you in the past 90 days.
Facebook has (arguably) evaded one privacy threat after another over the past year as their Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos, exited the social media giant while the company’s investors wanted Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to step down. The company also dropped from the first to the seventh place in rankings for the best places to work.
Although the social network has more than 2 billion users, the trust in their brand has significantly reduced over time. The company seems to be trying to regain the confidence of its users by sharing more information with them. These are just baby steps, but only time will tell how well Zuckerberg’s multi-year plan to overhaul Facebook’s systems really works.
Prayank heads the Editorial at Candid.Technology. When not writing, he loves taking trips on his bikes or chugging beers as Manchester United battle rivals.
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