Last quarter Facebook revealed that total ad revenue hit $2.27 billion, up 82% from a year ago. The social network which now also wants to be known as a mobile ad company generated 59% of ad revenue from portable devices. Facebook wants to lift the revenue quotient and to do so it is making some very interesting changes around its advertising plans.
Facebook which already garners user browser activity data to serve you ads, has revealed that it will soon start using more information from third-party websites and apps too, though only in the US at first. The company defines that this would help users see more ads that are relevant to their interests.
Giving an example, Facebook explains: “Let’s say that you’re thinking about buying a new TV, and you start researching TVs on the web and in mobile apps. We may show you ads for deals on a TV to help you get the best price or other brands to consider. And because we think you’re interested in electronics, we may show you ads for other electronics in the future, like speakers or a game console to go with your new TV.”
To make it non-intrusive, Facebook is also introducing ad preferences, a new tool accessible from every ad on Facebook that explains why you’re seeing a specific ad and lets you add and remove interests that Facebook uses to show you ads. So if you’re not interested in electronics, you can remove electronics from your ad interests.
Facebook which already collates enough data to enable ad re-targeting for its advertisers, has justified the move – “This is a type of interest-based advertising, and many companies already do this.”
However, Facebook provides a way to opt out of such tracking behavior in your web browser using the industry-standard Digital Advertising Alliance opt out, and on your mobile devices using the controls that iOS and Android provide. TNW, explains well for a layman to opt out from such tracking behavior on web and mobile.
Of course, this doesn’t stop advertising, it just means that you have a little more control over what personal browsing behavior of yours informs Facebook’s ads.
Given that Facebook already collects data for re-targeting and the growing hunger of advertisers to gain more behavioral and interest data, this move of capturing more user data for interest-based ads was about to happen.
Along with Facebook Exchange, a real-time bidding ad exchange that lets advertisers re-target users based on their prior browsing history; Website Custom Audiences (WCA) is another apt example by which Facebook ads target users who have previously visited your website. The feature now sits on Komli’s Social Ads Platform to be served to the APAC marketeers.
While Facebook makes better sense of your data to give you better ads, you can check Facebook’s own informational video on how its advertising works.