Weatherford Democrat

Online Only

June 15, 2014

Facebook making big changes to its advertisements

Facebook is making significant changes to the advertisements on its network, and said Thursday that it will give users more control over which ads they see on its network. The move comes as the company is also expanding its advertising program to include information that it pulls from sites users visit outside of its own network. Users will begin seeing notifications on their accounts about the changes starting Thursday, the company said in a blog post explaining the changes.

"Today, we learn about your interests primarily from the things you do on Facebook, such as Pages you like," the company said in an official blog post. "Starting soon in the US, we will also include information from some of the websites and apps you use."

Facebook does not currently show ads based on what users look at or buy outside of its own network — though it does partner with some ad networks that do. This change means that Facebook's advertising system more closely mirrors those of its competitors, such as Google. That change is significant, if not particularly surprising as the 10-year-old service looks for ways to pull in more regular revenue.

Perhaps looking to tamp down anxiety that Facebook will have access to users' off-site lives, the company is also releasing a new tool that gives users clear information about why they are seeing a particular ad. Ads on Facebook can now be more plugged in to the users' outside lives, drawing information from other pages they've visited or products they've viewed on other sites.

For example, you may see an advertisement on Facebook for a local winery and want to know why Facebook showed you that ad. Once the changes take effect, you'll be able to choose the "Why am I seeing this?" option from a drop-down menu on each individual ad. That, in turn, will take you to a page explaining why you were shown that ad. It may be because the business wanted to show the ad to locals between the ages of 21 and 60. Or the reason may be as simple as the fact that you had previously "liked" the business page of another local winery.

That page will also let you decide to remove that particular subject from your advertising profile. That means that "liking" a friend's personal fitness business page_ just to be nice — doesn't condemn you to a lifetime of ads for weight-loss pills and fad diets. Users can also use the new option to get a comprehensive look at all the keywords that make up your ad profile and customize them as you see fit. You are the only one who will see that overall profile.

Rob Sherman, a public policy manager at the social network, said that the changes will roll out gradually across the site, starting with U.S. users. Individuals will likely see the changes take effect around a month after they read the notification, unless they explicitly tell Facebook that they don't want to participate.

Sherman said that Facebook sent out several surveys and ran focus groups to figure out how best to implement these changes and present it in a digestible way to its users. He also said that the company believes that a system that shows users ads that know more about them helps advertisers as well as Facebook. But he also said that Facebook has heard loud and clear that users want more transparency and control when it comes to ads.

"We think it will be a net improvement," he said. "We also know that some people don't want it."

1
Text Only
Online Only
  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.21.22 PM.png VIDEO: Dog 'faints' from excitement of seeing owner

    A reunion between a Pennsylvania woman who had been living overseas for two years and her pet schnauzer has gone viral, garnering nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 30, 2014

  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando