Ever wonder why your Facebook News Feed is full of links to clothes you’ve been eyeing for weeks? Now you can get to the bottom of this curiosity thanks to Facebook continuing their efforts to provide users with advertising transparency. See their official announcement here.
Facebook’s ‘Why am I seeing this?’ option is on all posts on your Feed and gives users the option to see exactly how Facebook’s algorithm works when it comes to targeting users in this way. You can click on this tab at any time and find out exactly why specific posts are appearing. This new option lays out the factors that go into posts showing up on your News Feed in a transparent matter.
Facebook posted an explanation video for the new option that went over three of the main factors that go into what shows up on your news feed; who you usually interact with, the type of media you post (photos/links/videos), and the popularity of the post. Facebook is programmed to release posts on people’s news feeds based on one of their Facebook friends, a group they are in, or a page they follow. This is a helpful tool for understanding Facebook’s News Feed algorithm and why specific content is on particular people’s news feeds.
Along with providing insight into why we see specific posts, this tool offers an option to manage what you want to see and edit your News Feed preferences accordingly. Not only does this tool help you manage posts such as memes, videos, and photos, it gives an option to control the ads you see, too. You can see why your basic demographics or websites you have visited are related to the advertisements that appear in your news feed. This tool provides specific information on why ads are shown on certain people’s feeds and the data that goes into the algorithm of posting.
Facebook has been blamed for invading privacy due to ads and posts continuously reappearing on people’s news feeds. This tool is designed to give users the control over their privacy, the ads, and posts they are seeing, and access to an explanation of why these individual posts appear on their feed. Users can take action and block ads, or report that their information has been added to a list without them knowing (yes, you are even able to find out if that is happening with this new tool!)
Although Facebook is the most popular digital platform, the number of ads showing up on people’s feeds lead to privacy issues that have sparked many complaints and backlashes from users. This new tool is a positive step Facebook is taking to make their current users feel safe, and their new users feel welcomed and confident in joining this platform. This tool will help users take as much control of their privacy as possible by editing the ideal news feed for themselves.