Thursday, 14 June 2012

Facebook to Let Advertisers Bid on Ads Using Your Browser Data

For a company less than ten years old, Facebook has developed some surprisingly sophisticated ways to sell your information to advertisers.

Each time you Like a band, book, restaurant or service, Facebook uses that information to tailor ads that would appeal to you. Now the company is helping its advertisers tune into your external Internet behavior as well.

According to a Bloomberg report Wednesday, a new service called Facebook Exchange will allow advertisers to target users based on their browsing history.

Your computer already remembers your history via cookies. The Facebook Exchange program will place cookies on third-party sites, usually when a user has shown an intent to buy.

After that, the Facebook ads you see may be based on that cookie. So if you’re in the market for a car and peruse car reviews online, your computer will remember — and thanks to Facebook Exchange, this will increase the likelihood that you’ll see ads for cars on the social network.

Up to this point, Facebook ads – while targeted based on your interests – have not been linked to your history outside the site.

The Exchange program should give advertisers a better idea of whether you really intend to buy something or not — and will let them bid to place an ad on your profile. The ads you see will depend on who won that bid. To fully opt out, you’re going to have to go through the messy process of disabling those third-party cookies.

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