Facebook asks users why they don't want to see ads

Facebook has started asking users why they "hide" certain ads on the News Feed, and plan to use the feedback to determine where else to show those ads.

Facebook: now asks users why they hide ads
Facebook: now asks users why they hide ads

Facebook has long given users the option to hide irrelevant ads on their News Feed, using that feedback to calculate what else to show them.

Now it will also ask why they want to hide ads, using that infomation to decide whether to show those ads to other users.

We’ve learned that the reason why someone hides an ad can be just as important as the hide itself

For example, if a user chooses the option "it's not relevant to me", it doesn't necessarily mean an ad is not worth showing elsewhere. But picking the option "It's offensive or inappropriate" might prompt Facebook to hide the ad altogether.

Max Eulenstein, product manager, wrote in a blog post: "We’ve learned that the reason why someone hides an ad can be just as important as the hide itself.

"When testing this update, we looked at when people told us that ads were offensive or inappropriate and stopped showing those ads.

"As a result, we saw a significant decrease in the number of ads people reported as offensive or inappropriate.

"This means we were able to take signals from a small number of people on a small number of particularly bad ads to improve the ads everyone sees on Facebook."

Interestingly, those who rarely hide ads will be listened to more carefully when they do.

Eulenstein continued: "When testing this update, we saw that people who rarely hide ads ended up hiding 30% fewer ads with this change – meaning when we listen carefully, this feedback helps us show better ads – even to those who aren’t very vocal."

Eulenstein added that most brands would see "no change" to how their ads did on Facebook.

It isn't clear whether Facebook might share the improved user feedback with individual advertisers, and the company has yet to respond to a request for comment.


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