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Meta: Head’s up: “Why am I seeing this ad?” just got more transparent

You know how opening the blinds brightens up a room—and reveals the dust?

Meta is rolling out an improved version of its “Why am I seeing this ad?” feature globally to increase ads transparency across platforms. And there’s definitely light and dust to be found…

Meta is rolling out an improved version of its “Why am I seeing this ad?” feature globally.

A look inside the machine

These updates will give you a better sense of how Facebook’s machine learning algorithm works, including:

  • How user activity—on and off platform—influences the algorithm to show ads.
  • Examples and illustrations of how its machine learning models connect topics with relevant ads.

Bust out the binoculars

Oh, and if you’re down for a little espionage, you can dig into your competitors’ targeting preferences by looking at the “Advertiser choices” option.

… But users can see you, too: Yep, your potential customers can select Ads Preferences from additional pages in the “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool.

For example, if a user sees an ad about a beauty product, Facebook will tell them it’s because they interacted with ads or pages about personal care or used apps about lifestyle.

Why we care

Getting a glimpse into the targeting strategy of your competitors and understanding how the algorithm works can be an ace up the sleeve.

Of course, it also means your ads are vulnerable to the same kind of snooping. And more transparency will likely come at the cost of users opting out of unfavorable ads.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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