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Why Facebook just altered its Ad profile

If you've ever wondered why you receive certain types of ads on Facebook you can now find out, and alter your ad settings.

Add it up

Facebook announced the news in a blog post, revealing users would now be able to see, alter and delete information kept about them.

“People also tell us they want more control over the ads they see. That’s why we’re 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 we use to show you ads.

“So if you’re not interested in electronics, you can remove electronics from your ad interests,” Facebook explained.

Phyrric victory for users?

Under the new system any ad that appears on Facebook will also reveal an arrow that users can click to expand, explaining why they received this ad.

If users don't like the ad they can let Facebook know, and even take that listed interest off their proflle.

Privacy concerns

While the update might be a win on the surface for users, the rest of the social network's announcement has raised privacy concerns.

Facebook went on to explain it will begin tracking user behaviour on third-part websites and its mobile apps, ostensibly to further tailor the ads it delivers.

User can opt out of this service, but the process involves visiting an ad industry website and adjusting their smartphone settings – something Facebook might be betting many users won't do.

One step too far?

While this isn't the first time Facebook has raised privacy heckles, to be fair its far from the only brand to do so. Companies like Google and Yahoo have been scooping up user data for years.

And while brands might pay a premium for more targeted ads, the success of the project will come down to how much privacy users are willing to forfeit for more relevant advertising. 

To find out more visit newsroom.fb.com.

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