Platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and many others have attracted billions of users across the globe through their simple models of connecting users to other people from around the world.
This often comes in the form of pictures, videos, and status updates to friends, but also has expanded into groups of people with common interests from around the globe who have never met before.
What all of these platforms have in common is the “free to join,” unlimited usage model that anyone can enjoy. This often leads users to wonder how exactly is it that these companies then employ thousands, and pay salaries such as Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s, who as of April 2018 was reported to have a net worth of $64 Billion.
The answer, advertisers.
Advertisers have flocked to social media platforms for their unparalleled ability to connect their advertisements with users who have already shown interest in their products, or may be in their target demographic.
Have you ever wondered how Facebook knew to show you an ad for a new sofa mere minutes after you Google searched for furniture stores near you? Or why that dress you decided not to buy on Amazon seems to be haunting you now, popping up on every 10th Instagram post you scroll through?
These social media platforms have realized the importance of the data you choose to give them every day, such as pages you follow, posts you like, and even your actions on other websites like Amazon.
In turn, they have crafted an art of turning a profit from it by connecting the information they already know about you and your interests to advertisers seeking to reach people just like you.
As users of these free platforms, we choose to accept the terms & conditions documents many of us often glaze over, which outline exactly how and why companies like Facebook utilize your information.
In light of recent testimony by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, before the United States Congress, we’d like to show you how you’re able to access the information that influences the ads you see on Facebook, and how you can take control over that data.
By visiting this page, you can view what information Facebook has access to. Here you can control what data Facebook will use in order to target ads tailored to your specific interests and online activity.
During his two-day Congress testimony, Zuckerberg answered questions of concern raised by members of the US House and Senate.
Mainly, the members of Congress were concerned about what users can do in order to retain more privacy of their data if they wish to do so. Zuckerberg outlined the steps users can take in order to lessen the amount of data that Facebook uses to match users up with advertisers they would be interested in. Zuckerberg commented on how this would mean that the ads given to users would be more random in nature and less targeted to their demographic.
Zuckerberg also debunked rumors of Facebook listening at all times through users phones, as well as the rumor that Facebook was selling users data to advertisers. He said in his testimony that both of these claims were false, and that Facebook simply acts as the middleman pairing users to relevant ads.
As a user of Facebook, you do have control believe it or not. Users are able to change your settings and control exactly how Facebook collects and utilizes the data it collects about you. You are also able to change interests Facebook AI has interpreted from your online actions by inputting new interests, or deleting interests entirely.
As more businesses, organizations, nonprofits, and many of our clients turn to Facebook for telling their story to their audience, North realizes the importance for all Facebook users to understand the use of their data.
Want to know more? You can find more about all the information Facebook utilizes to match you with advertisements by going to this website.