Facebook is so good at targeting relevant ads that it’s somewhat scary. How does this social media giant manage this level of ad targeting? The answer is simple: our Facebook accounts. The company gathers enormous amounts of data that everyone of us posts on our accounts without giving it much thought. Whether it is our use of technology, our location and even our political preferences are all amassed to create dossiers in the form of boxes on every Facebook account holder.
In simpler terms, Facebook is categorizing us into different boxes that depict who we are (almost accurately) and what we are interested in. The image below shows how these boxes might look like:
Just by looking at the image above one can make a few deductions about the user. Firstly he uses Apple products like Mac and iPhone. Secondly, you can see that he likes to travel and is away from family. Thirdly the user has a teenage child and is a millennial adult who is in a relationship. These deductions are made by taking into account your status updates, your location, the pages you have liked, where and what you study and also how you interact with ads on Facebook and otherwise.
Despite the limited information, this is more than enough to describe a person and his interests especially considering that Facebook has never met them. Facebook even knows about your political inclinations if you like political pages or get involved in political discussions.
Amazing isn’t it?
You should go ahead and check out your own ad profile here. Click “More” under the “Interests” section and next click “Lifestyle and culture”. The boxes given should describe you best and is also accurate to some extent. You will find some groups that you don’t belong to and you can delete them.
P.S. If you are thinking of deleting all the boxes so you won’t get any ads, don’t. This will not lead to fewer ads, they will only become unspecific and random.