June 20, 2021
Facebook user interest ad-targeting

New Study Finds Nearly 3/4 of Facebook Users don’t Know the Social Network Collects Lists of Their Interests for Ad-Targeting

The Facebook user interest ad-targeting practice isn’t widely known as a new study finds the majority have no idea it exists…

A full seventy-four percent of Facebook users are unaware the social site collects information about their interests to serve targeted ads. A new Pew study reveals almost three-quarters of users simply don’t know about the practice.

Facebook User Interest Ad-Targeting Practice Unknown by 74 Percent of Users Pew Study Finds

It’s a startling revelation given the fact the practice is so widely known within the industry and for people who work around it. Pew asked participants to look at Facebook’s ad preferences page. This section lists users’ interests and nearly 60 percent of respondents said the items were very or somewhat accurate. Moreover, 51 percent reported being uncomfortable with the practice.

Conversely, 27 percent of participants stated the ad preferences page weren’t accurate. Also, 59 percent reported the page did reflect their real-life interests.

Additionally, participants were told Facebook assigns just over half of its users a political “affinity,” or 51 percent. Among those who were labeled with a political affinity, 73 percent say the categorization is accurate. Meanwhile, 27 percent said it is not accurate at all.

The study also finds that a mere 12 percent of participants were already aware Facebook collected lists of their interests for ad-targeting purposes.

William Boleys

Will is an experienced freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics, including apps, social media, and search.

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