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Get Rid of Those Annoying Ads on Facebook

Don’t you love logging into Facebook in front of a good friend, client or spouse, only to find “local, sexy singles” wanting to “meet you, right now.”?  Facebook has gotten pretty clever over the last few years and realized all that profile data that you feed it can be used to serve highly targeted ads to its users.  Let’s talk about what this is, how it works and how to make it work more in your favor than against you.

Background and how it all works.

In the world of advertising, the more targeted your ads are, the better.  In other words, if you can get your ads in front of the people most likely to be interested in your product, you have a higher likelyhood of getting them to spend money with you.  Additionally, the advertiser is only paying for advertisements that are being viewed by the people most likely to respond.

Remember when you were filling our your profile and you put in all that information about what high school you attended, your college, graduation years, your company, your likes and interests, etc.?  Yep, you guessed it.  All of this information helps Facebook to determine which ads to show you.

Note: this actually works both ways, though.  While the advertiser wants badly to be in front of the people most likely to respond, you, on that same hand, want ads (if you must have them) that are relevant to you.

How to make it work in your favor.

One of our office mates had asked recently why every time he logged into Facebook, he was being shown ads for singles in his area.  Steph had a simple and easy solution that was followed by this question, “How are your ‘interested in’ settings configured in your profile?”

If you have “Interested in ‘women/men’” checked in your profile, Facebook is going to assume that you are looking to meet someone and display ads accordingly.  It’s funny how these things are set up because we all assume that we have to check something.  But, we actually don’t have to check anything, we can leave all the check boxes blank.  By leaving them blank, Facebook completely lacks that knowledge and won’t risk displaying those ads to you anymore.

Starve Facebook of knowledge.

Ok, so there are always two sides to every coin, right?

  1. Knowing that Facebook is going to display ads to you, whether you like it or not, you can fill out all the minute details in your profile and accept highly targeted ads.  If you see some ads displayed that you don’t like (cue local singles), check your profile to see if there is anything that may be causing those ads to be displayed and delete it.
  2. If you’re one of those people that wants “the system” to know as little about you as possible, go into your profile information and delete all the details about yourself.  The good thing is that Facebook has no idea who you are.  The bad thing is that you will have no control over the ads displayed and whether they are relevant to you.

How to change your profile details and settings.

Changing the deets is easy.  Here’s how you do it.

  • Log in to Facebook,
  • Click on the Profile button in the upper right-hand corner of the Facebook window,
  • On the left, under your profile picture, click Edit My Profile,
  • Change to your heart’s content.

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