Frequent Facebook Use Leads to Higher Number of Ad Preferences

Facebook earns most of its money by providing brands and marketing agencies with a platform on which they can run their advertising campaigns. However, it doesn’t just provide a blank canvas upon which agencies can do whatever they please. Much on the contrary, Facebook wants to try and compile users preferences and interests so that they can be targeted more accurately, thereby making itself out to be a far more preferable advertising resource for anyone that wishes to pay for it.

One thing that Facebook does is that it features all of your data to an ad preference page. If you check this page out you would probably see that Facebook has already algorithmically created a list of preferences that are probably quite accurate. These preferences aren’t just about what TV shows you like and what fast food places you prefer to go to. Indeed, many of these ad preferences have a lot to do with your political leanings as well, something that indicates that Facebook is trying to offer political entities the chance to target people that might respond a little better to the message they are attempting to spread.

A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center has indicated that while about 90% of adults in the US do have categories listed in their ad preference page, those that had been using Facebook more often than others have a higher number of ad preferences listed. This seems to indicate that the more you use Facebook, the more data the social media platform will end up collecting from you all in all. How old your account is tends to play a role in this as well, with users that had older accounts reporting more categories in their ad preference pages.

Overall, nearly forty percent of Facebook users will have over twenty one ad preference categories listed on this page. Thirty percent reported that they saw between one to nine categories, meaning that most users that do have preferences on this page will have multiple categories listed about them. Users that reported using the site multiple times over the course of the day found that they had twenty one or more categories listed, with forty four percent of such users finding this in their preferences. By comparison, only 34% of users that used the site once a day had more than 21 categories, and the proportion went down to less than 20% for those that used it less than once a day.

Similarly, Pew reveled that "Facebook users with more ‘ad preference’ categories report greater accuracy in the way their interests and traits are listed". This chart sheds some more light on this:

This seems to indicate that data collection and preference calculation is an ongoing process for the platform, and if you use it less then (chances are) targeted advertising would be less likely to find its way to you.

Read next: This Page Reveals Extent of Google’s Knowledge About You
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