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      Rotisserie Chicken, David Bowie, Waterproof Clothing and Theme Parks: How Facebook knows more about you than you do.

      We’ve been looking into new platforms recently to promote Kingsford Office and found some interesting features of Facebook in the process.

      Online advertising is big business. Recently the IAB reported that UK Online Adspend reached £8.8 billion last year – showing no signs of slowing on a seven year streak. One rising behemoth of the online advertising world is Facebook.

      Things have certainly changed over seven years.

      “Nudge” your memory. In 2009 as a Facebook user you’d find a newsfeed covered with little more than your friends photos, status updates and Farmville requests.

      However in 2016, as a Facebook user you’ll find yourself browsing one of the largest advertising mediums on the internet. Faced with a newsfeed covered in your friend’s photos and status updates as usual but now interspersed with sponsored posts, sponsored video and the trenches lined with ads. Farmville, R.I.P.

      This shift has arguably degraded the quality of content on Facebook, and perhaps has encouraged users to engage less with the platform. Yet regardless, AD revenues have continued to grow. So what makes this platform so attractive to the world’s brands, small and large?

      “you might find out things about yourself you didn’t even know”

      The answer is that Facebook knows you better than any brand could. Take, years of devoted usage, the fact it’s never out of your pocket/bag, geo-tagged photos, page likes and personal information like your gender/age/job title. Throw in a tracking cookie that’s estimated to exist on more than 13 million websites and you’ve got a heap of incredibly rich user data, ready for brands to target you with.

      It’s a little daunting but unless you’re thinking of giving up Facebook altogether soon it’s unlikely you’ll be able to escape it’s advertising power. So the bright side?

      (This is where the Rotisserie Chicken comes in)

      You can actually see some of what profile Facebook is giving to brands about you. When you look, you might find out things about yourself you didn’t even know.

      Step by step:

      1. From your desktop/laptop, at the top right of the page click on the downwards arrow.
      2. At the bottom of the menu that appears click on “Settings”Settings Facebook

      3. On the left hand side menu you see click “Adverts”

      screen-shot-adpref

      4. On the middle of the page, find the section labelled “Adverts based on my preferences” and click “edit”.

      5. Finally, on the section that appears click “Visit Advert Preferences”view-adpref

      Voila, a page full of all the things Facebook is telling advertisers you’re interested in! So what did you get? I got Rotisserie Chicken, David Bowie, Waterproof Clothing and Theme Parks (an incredible day out) – which admittedly I do have an interest in.

      While I’m yet to see ads specifically about Rotisserie Chicken, my interests in “Music festivals” explains why I regularly see ads for portable phone chargers and T in the Park. And my interests in “time management” explain why I keep seeing ads about productivity tools.

      So go on, take a look!

      Screenshot 2016-08-04 10.17.38

       

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