It’s Now Easier to Understand Why a Facebook Ad Is Shown

Updated on: 5 September 2019

It’s a problem that many Facebook users face – we simply don’t understand why a particular ad is being shown to us on our feed.

This is why Facebook is now going to provide even more detail when users click on the “Why am I seeing this ad?” option.

Facebook first rolled out its targeted ad serving platform in 2007; and has since been introducing more features such as hyperlocal and topic-based targeting. It was only in 2014 that Facebook introduced the “Why am I seeing this ad?” feature to inform people about the target criteria that advertisers had used to target them.

Now – the changes will seek to reveal which agencies are the one uploading this data.

Compared to the previous single, vague reason that users were complaining to be pretty much useless – Facebook is putting in line 2 changes:

  • Showing more reasons as to why a particular ad is served to users
  • More detailed information such as interests or categories that may have led them to be targeted.

In addition, the social media behemoth will be making it clear to users about where it received information and data from in making targeting decisions.

Controls will also be made available to users to help them adjust how these ads are being served to them. The ad preferences section will now disclose information about businesses that have uploaded lists with their information in it, and which ones have used the information in the past 90 days.

Other than just giving a general answer such as “demographic information” or “website browsing history”, the change that is soon to be rolled out will allow you to see if a brand has uploaded your data directly, or been accessed through a third-party agency.

With this increased transparency on Facebook’s behalf, hopefully users will no longer have to face marketing jargon when trying to figure out answers as to why ads showed up the way it did – clarifying and demystifying the fact that Facebook might be eavesdropping on us more than we would like, once and for all.

A host of information is frequently used to decide what ads will be shown to you, such as your activity on Facebook (likes, shares and clicks), the information that you have given the platform (e.g. age, gender, location, devices used to access Facebook) –paired with information from Facebook’s partners that share with them information about your activity on external websites and apps.

As Facebook continues to evolve and implement changes in its complex algorithm – what’s more important is being aware of what you are putting and giving away to the internet at all times. If you wish to understand more, you might want to consult a Social Media Marketing Agency, or consider signing up for a Digital Marketing Course to learn more about the mechanics behind Facebook ads.

Meanwhile, Facebook ensures that it wants to continue serving ads that are as interesting and useful to you as possible. We will let you decide if that is the case.

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