You can run but you can’t hide: Facebook ads are coming for you

faceook ad policies discrimination facebook ads
rawpixel/123RF
Facebook is making moves to become a bigger player in the online advertising scene — which is currently dominated by Google. The social network began testing the idea of serving ads from its ad network to non-Facebook users in 2012, and made official on Friday plans to roll it out network-wide.

Previously, in order to be served Facebook ads you had to be a Facebook user and be logged in on whatever device you were browsing from. With today’s announcement that all changes. Facebook will attempt to identify and track third-party site visitors with its own mix of cookies, buttons, and plugins, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It’s a business move that looks to expand upon the $5 billion that the company has already earned through advertising in this last quarter alone, as well as increasing the social network’s reach beyond the 1.65 billion users it claims to access each month.

Facebook_SearchSo what does this mean for the average Joe web user? If they already have a Facebook profile, nothing much here will change — but those trying to avoid Facebook’s reach will find it much harder. Now non-users who visit a website displaying Facebook advertisements will be identified and tracked by the social media company (as other ad trackers do). This is how Facebook will attempt to show relevant ads to the unknown user, and it’s not unlike how Google tracks users to display relevant ads.

This new ad service extends Facebook’s reach across the entire internet and ad-supported mobile app marketplace, making it harder than ever (nearly impossible, really) to avoid being tracked, profiled, and sold by Facebook to advertisers. You can run, but you can’t hide … because profile or not, Facebook will find you.

It’s not all bad though: The ads that you do see should be more relevant to you and your interests. This is something that may make the browsing experience less annoying, even if the ad network’s ability to predict what we are interested in is a little creepy.

Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Photography

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Computing

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 
Social Media

LinkedIn finally gets around to launching its own live video tool

Live video is coming to LinkedIn for businesses and individuals on the site. The livestreaming feature is launching in beta in the U.S. before rolling out to the entire community.