In an announcement made today, Facebook is taking a cue from its users and taking two major steps to make ads better.
In the first step, Facebook will be introducing interest-based advertising to users in the US:
When we ask people about our ads, one of the top things they tell us is that they want to see ads that are more relevant to their interests. Today, we learn about your interests primarily from the things you do on Facebook, such as Pages you like.
So, for example, if you’re in the market for a new TV and start shopping around for TVs on the web, Facebook may choose to show you ads for deals on a TV.
Following that same example, since Facebook then understands that you’re interested in electronics, you may be shown ads for other electronics in the future.
If this sounds a little too intrusive to you, you can opt out of this type of ad targeting using the industry-standard Digital Advertising Alliance opt out, and on your mobile devices using the controls that iOS and Android provide.
The other thing Facebook is introducing is ad preferences. Ad preferences is a new tool accessible from every ad on Facebook that explains why you’re seeing a specific ad. It also lets you add and remove interests that Facebook uses to show you ads.
Users in the US will be able to use ad preferences in the next few weeks. Facebook says it is working hard to expand this feature globally in the coming months.
For more information, see this video describing both of these new features: