Facebook announced this week that it will begin displaying ads to non-users around the web in a move that could give the social networking giant a dominant role in all online advertising.
The site plans to collect information on all Internet users by tracking them with small pieces of code called cookies. And how does it do that? Through the omnipresent “Like” buttons and plug-ins that are hosted on nearly every major website.
Publishers and app developers have some users who aren’t Facebook users. We think we can do a better job powering those ads,” Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of ads and business, told The Wall Street Journal. “Our buttons and plugins send over basic information about users’ browsing sessions. For non-Facebook members, previously we didn’t use it. Now we’ll use it to better understand how to target those people.”
Targeted advertising is nothing new online. However, Facebook’s 1.7 billion-strong user base means that it has an unparalleled amount of data to use for its targeting.
Thankfully, there are methods for both Facebook users and non-users to opt out of Facebook’s tracking. For users, all you need to do is adjust your settings. Nonusers need to file a report with the Digital Advertising Alliance.