Ever been curious about what Facebook thinks you like? Sometimes their ads are dead on and it scares the hell out of me – while other times, they are so off base that I don’t know how they got that idea. One thing is for sure, Facebook is getting smarter and starting to track us more than ever. They have rapidly been working to improve and expand their tracking of users for a variety of reasons. The main reason is money. The better that Facebook knows you, the better they can monetize you.
In years past, the most obvious ways for them to learn about you was from the data you personally shared. Every time you mentioned a brand, or talked about something, or liked a page or shared an image, they could collect data based on that to learn. After nearly 10 years of tracking your content and conversations, they have a pretty clear picture on who you are. However, that’s not enough and Facebook is actively seeking and developing more (quietly) invasive tracking programs.
- It’s entirely possible that Facebook may be using the mic on your smartphone to listen to every word you say. There’s some conflict on whether they are or not, but it’s clear they are able to.
- Facebook IS now tracking you at all times online – not just when you’re on Facebook. You can change that setting to turn it off here.
- Facebook is also using your phone’s location to track what stores you go into. If you want to stop Facebook from doing that, just go to app, then to account settings, then Location and turn off the “Location History” toggle.
Facebook Thinks I Like Swamps…
All that said, they still have the years of information that they have collected already to base their ads on. In order to see what Facebook thinks you like, all you need to do is visit the ad settings and preferences option found here. On that page, you’ll find ad categories sorted into 13 different categories which include:
- Business and Industry
- Family and Relationships
- Fitness and Wellness
- Food and Drink
- Hobbies and Activities
- Lifestyle and Culture
- News and Entertainment
- Shopping and Fashion
- Sports and Outdoors
- Travel, Places and Events
Under each category, you can see the individual things Facebook thinks you like – in my case, 276 different topics that range from Fido to Canon Camera, to Toronto Raptors, to Poland, and so much in between. In some cases, I understand why they think I’m interested in those things, in other cases… I have NO idea how they got that idea.
Some of the least accurate things Facebook thinks I like include the City of Bacoli, Grails, Ben Hill Stadium, Guy Berryman, Swamp, Bumblebeet, and B2W… mostly because I have no idea what any of those things are! But I am curious – what does Facebook think you like? Leave a comment below with some of the oddest things that Facebook has you pegged for!