Facebook will soon open advertising hellmouth
So you may be interested to learn that Facebook is changing the way it tracks and shows ads. 'Hurray!' you cry, ‘No more crappy ads!’ Well, er, not quite. Because the two changes that they’re introducing appear to contradict each other completely.
The first new feature is quite useful. Firstly when you get an ad in your feed, you’ll see a blue arrow at the bottom. If you click on the arrow you’ll see a menu with a tab called ‘Why are you seeing this?’ It allows you to understand the Facebook tracking process – for example, maybe you ‘liked’ a page about sinks in 2008 and now you’re always seeing ads for sinks, etc.
You can then adjust your settings to opt out of ads for sinks by removing sinks from your list of interests.
So far, so good. But you’re not going to like the next new addition at all. Facebook said yesterday that they are going to do a Google on you and start tracking your web and app activity, then show you tailored ads.
If that makes you feel paranoid and itchy, you can opt out by adjusting the tracking settings on iOS and Android. However, Facebook might not be that interested in telling you about that, and annoyingly, they have said they will not be honouring the ‘do not track’ option, meaning you might get ads anyway. Hmm, wouldn’t want their users personal privacy to get in the way of a nice revenue stream, eh?
So the upshot of all this is that Facebook is about to get approximately one million times more annoying, but don't worry - there’s a little blue arrow that you can constantly press to get rid of ads.