Facebook has just launched an updated version of its “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool which now includes information on how they use machine learning to deliver ads. The tool will provide information on how your activity on and off our platforms informs the machine learning models. It will also include new examples and illustrations to explain how these models connect various topics to show relevant ads.
Additionally, there are now more ways to access ads controls from different pages in the tool.
What’s new. From the Meta support site:
Beginning today, the “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool on Facebook will include:
- Information summarized into topics about how your activity both on and off our technologies — such as liking a post on a friend’s Facebook page or interacting with your favorite sports website — may inform the machine learning models we use to shape and deliver the ads you see.
- New examples and illustrations explaining how our machine learning models connect various topics to show you relevant ads.
- More ways to find our ads controls. You will now be able to access Ads Preferences from additional pages in the “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool.”
Why Meta is making changes. Meta says they collaborated with privacy experts and stakeholders to gather feedback on increasing transparency in their ads system. One of the main suggestions was to be more transparent about how their machine learning models contribute to the ads people see.
Meta says they’re committed to using machine learning responsibly and being transparent about its use is vital to ensure people are aware of the technology involved and the data used.
“By enhancing transparency, we aim to increase accountability and help people feel more secure. The updates to “Why am I seeing this ad?” aim to provide clear information about machine learning models used to deliver ads. These are the latest developments in our continuous efforts to improve our ads transparency and provide better understanding of our data and technology use.”
Find the “Why am I seeing this ad?” feature. To access the “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool on Facebook, click on the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner of any ad in your feed. You can still hide ads from specific advertisers and access your ads preferences within the tool. The updated version is currently available on Facebook globally and will be expanded to Instagram in the future.
Dig deeper. You can read the full announcement from Meta here.
Why we care. This tool enhances transparency and provides users with clear information about the ads they see. By being transparent about the use of machine learning and the data used to deliver ads, users may feel more comfortable with the ads they see and may be more likely to engage with them.
Though this could be seen as a bad thing for advertisers, it forced brands to rethink their targeting. By doing so, it can potentially lead to higher engagement rates and better return on investment. Additionally, by understanding how the tool works, advertisers can improve their ad targeting and content to reach their desired audience more effectively.