Facebook is yet again paying closer attention to your cyber movements online, thanks to a new announcement that it plans to start using information about its users’ Web browsing and app history when deciding which ads to show them.
Under its new system, the multi-billion dollar social networking site will be able to bring users finely combed advertisements specific to the user’s personal interest and search history. For example, if you happened to shop for a new smart TV online, you may then find electronic ads alongside your Facebook profile.
Facebook’s risk, however, is that consumers may find gripe with the company’s tracking efforts, which can be viewed as an invasion of privacy - something Facebook has been criticized for in the past.
Facebook said the recent change is directed at helping users “see ads that are more relevant to their interests.” However, it would be remiss not to mention the move’s business advantage, as it’s also very clearly directed at boosting the company’s advertising revenue, which grew to $7 billion last year.
According to an insider, Facebook - knowing the possibly public backlash for its latest move - spent the better part of this year getting the announcement just right in an effort to avoid consumer complaint. In the past, Facebook has made privacy changes without any warning to users.
This time the company unveiled a service to let users opt out of specific ads they have received, and to ask for more information about why they have been targeted for certain ads to make users feel more in control of the ad they receive.
(Photo: Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images)