Facebook is helping its users know more about the ads they encounter on their feeds with the site’s latest “Why am I seeing this ad?” update.

More custom audience details

The update now includes more details about the Custom Audiences shown in the “Why am I seeing this ad?” section of an advertisement. Custom audiences are a list of specific users that are targeted by a marketer’s ads. The marketer gives information (like email addresses) that Facebook uses in matching ads with users.

Previously, people could only see if they were included in the ad’s custom audience and the type of included information (such as the users’ email addresses). With the update, users can now also see when the list was uploaded.

The new notification also lets users know if the list was created by a marketing agency that’s connected with the advertiser. This will help them better determine where their contact information is being shared and whether their information is being used without their knowledge.

Facebook began including Custom Audiences in the “Why am I seeing this ad?” section in February. The site said that this is a part of its commitment to providing users with greater ad transparency.

More information on organic posts

Aside from updating the “Why am I seeing this ad?” section, Facebook is also introducing a similar feature for regular posts. “Why am I seeing this post?” is a new feature which explains how your interaction with friends, groups, or pages affect the ranking of the posts in your feed.

To access the feature, click on the drop-down menu at the right-hand corner of the post. You will then see the things that influence post rankings, like:

  • How often you interact with posts from friends, pages, or groups.
  • How frequent you interact with different types of posts, such as images and videos.
  • The popularity of the posts shared by the parties you follow.

Facebook said that the kind of information included in this section is based on the feedback it got from initial testing.

How the updates affect marketers

The site said that the two updates are part of its effort to provide more context about the posts shown on feeds. It is also providing new shortcuts to control tools like:

  • See First
  • News Feed Preferences
  • Unfollow

These tools help users quickly personalize their feeds and remove unwanted content.

These updates present a challenge to marketers. Users might be more likely to hide an ad from their feeds if they feel their information is being included without their consent. To avoid that situation, marketers need to closely monitor the customer lists they create to ensure that all the users they include are truly interested in the advertised content.

Creating more engaging posts, both in your ads and regular posts, will help you draw the interest of audiences and get them to submit their contact information. You also need to monitor any ad agency you are working with to ensure that it has quality control on the audience lists it is using.

Facebook‘s updates to its “Why am I seeing this ad?” feature provides users with greater transparency to gauge ads. This should be a cue for you to ensure the quality of your content and make sure that they abide by these new changes.


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