Targeted Facebook Ads Will Soon Become More Transparent With AdChoices Icon
Ever been creeped out by Facebook’s uncanny knack for displaying ads for products you’ve recently viewed? Well, soon Facebook will more clearly label FBX ads that are displayed to users via behavioral targeting/re-targeting methods.
According to AdAge, the ever-familiar AdChoices icon will be displayed on the targeted ads, but will only show when a user actually hovers over the ad. AdAge states:
“The icon — intended to provide enhanced notice of behavioral targeting and allow users to opt-out — will look the same as the one seen across the Web, with one big caveat. Rather than appearing directly on FBX display ads, the symbol will show up only when users mouse over the gray “x” displayed above the ads shown on Facebook’s right rail.”
So, in order to actually see the AdChoices icon, a user will have to initiate discovery by hovering over the ad. This display-by-mousing isn’t typical in display as all other implementations feature a clearly displayed AdChoices icon alongside the ad. AdAge questions where this implementation style complies with the FTC citing the “clear and prominent” notice.
Whether you like the changes or not, they will make it easier to detect targeted ads. Currently, users can discover where the ads are coming from, but they need to do a bit of work to do so. With the current set-up, users must actually X out an ad then click on the “About this ad” link that appears. Once clicked, they are delivered to the advertising source where they can opt-out.
If you’re not familiar with AdChoices, this brief video helps explain the icon.
This change is slated to be rolled out by the end of March. For more information see AdAge.