What Facebook Knows About Us And How The Algorithm Delivers Ads
Are you also scared from time to time? What does all of Facebook know about you? How is it possible that most of the time, Facebook offers you exactly what you want? Are you talking to a friend about a new phone, and suddenly your web browser is full of apples? Are you planning a trip to Venice and immediately have an accurate idea of the price of plane tickets and local accommodation? And that’s just because you’re looking at your personalized ads. Coincidence? Exactly, not at all!
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Meta platforms, which own both Facebook and Instagram, know exactly what you like. And they personalize the products you’re likely to buy. At first, men would prefer to avoid seeing an advertisement for menstrual cups or women’s conditioners. Similarly, women are rarely interested in car accessories. You will not excite a vegan with an advertisement for a local steak house.
Is Facebook Bugging Me?
We all hope not. Let’s look for the answer to the question in a small unobtrusive script, which is hidden in the website’s source code. Professionally, it is called Facebook Pixel (after the new Meta pixel). Such a pixel is active in every e-shop and every website where its owner decides to advertise.
The meta pixel sends the data to its parent advertising account, and the marketing specialist who manages the advertisement works with this data. But Pixel also sends data to Big Brother – in our case, Facebook – for their internal needs.
In practice, it then looks like you go to holiday comparison sites, and the Meta pixel puts you in the audience of people likely to want to travel to that location. Facebook will do a few more tests to verify that you are visiting this site.
It provides advertisements, and you confirm by clicking that you plan to travel. And you already know it. Everywhere you look, you see ads for that stay, stays in a neighboring city, or different accommodations in the country you’re planning to go to. Air tickets, restaurants, and other attractions are included.
Another way Meta platforms offer you advertising is so-called remarketing. A marketer writing an ad chooses not to target people in a given audience but to hunt for a much better and more converting audience than simple targeting. And that is, as we mentioned, REMARKETING. With these types of campaigns, the marketer targets people who have already taken some action on the web or the FB or IG page.
And these actions can be:
- Site interactions,
- website visit,
- adding goods to the cart and leaving the website,
- watching a video,
- reading an article like this one.
The royal discipline of the Facebook algorithm is the so-called lookalike audiences. They evaluate what shoppers have in common and accordingly target more and more users who are most likely to buy. In general, the more data Facebook has about us, the better quality ads it delivers. Therefore, agreeing to the cookie bar on every website we visit is a matter of course.
If you were the operator of a party and one of your customers walked up to you in a hood, you would also like to know his identity.