Facebook Intros Expanded Targeting Options

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Drop-downs in ads to offer greater user control
Drop-downs in ads to offer greater user control

In a blog published on its corporate site today, Facebook alerts users that it will begin sharing information about websites and apps they use with advertisers. Up to now, the social network allowed targeting based on users' “likes” of specific pages or personal information they listed in their profiles. It also let advertisers employ third-party customer data to target ads.

Facebook is promoting the change to users as a way to give them better control over the ads they see. In a video accompanying the blog, product manager Jake Brill says the new targeting system helps Facebook increase relevance. Clicking the upper right corner of ads will open a drop-down menu with four options including “This ad is useful” and “Hide all ads from this advertiser.” Brill informs users that “when you like pages and posts, click on stories in News Feed, or use the website of some business…this helps us determine whether an ad will be relevant to you.”

The blog advises users to employ the Digital Advertising Alliance opt-out system if they don't want Facebook to call upon their Web behavior in targeting advertising. The company says the user ad preference option with be up and running in the U.S. within weeks, and globally within months.

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