Facebook have changed their advertising rules to incorporate browsing data from third party websites and other apps.
The move, which will only be in the US at first, will be the first time Facebook has used data from outside the social network for ad targeting.
In a release, they were quick to assert that “this is a type of interest-based advertising, and many companies already do this.”
At the moment the social network uses information gathered from your Facebook browsing activities, such as pages and posts you have liked.
This update to their policy will not see Facebook collect any new data, but rather utilise the third party data it already has.
In a release, they said:
“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.”
Despite Facebook improving their ad targeting rules, the majority of dating sites will not be able to reap the rewards of these updates, considering Facebook’s recent policy towards dating sites advertising on the platform.
Utilising such third party data – like what interest-based sites people visit, or whether they regularly use dating apps – would be incredibly useful if dating sites were allowed to advertise on the site.
Facebook have also announced updated opt-out measures for users.
You currently have the option to hide an ad or stop ads from a particular advertiser, but now you will be able to see exactly why the ad is being shown to you, and remove that specific interest if you don’t want related ads.
You can also opt out entirely.
Users on desktop can stop targeted ads by using the industry-standard Digital Advertising Alliance opt out.
For iOS, users can visit the Privacy page in the main Settings, and click “Limit Ad Tracking”.
Here is Facebook’s video explaining the new advertising plans: