Now the company will start using targeting ads with non-members
Anyone who has visited the website will start to see ads from its customers
If you are a member of Facebook, you are probably familiar with the way it uses targeted advertising.
You searched for a pair of trainers once, and soon hundreds of trainers appear every time you visit the social networking site.
Now, in an attempt by the company to increase its presence on the internet, even people without Facebook profiles will start to receive adverts targeted based on their search history.
The company announced its customers’ ads will now be visible on third-party apps and websites to everyone who has ever visited its website, not just to users logged into its social networking service.
This means be able to show them ads when they visit sites in its ‘Audience Network’ ad scheme.
People can opt out of seeing ads on apps and websites not offered by
Facebook, based on their ad preferences, the company said.
‘We also offer everyone controls over the ads they see, including tools to opt out of online interest-based advertising,’ said Andrew Bosworth, vice president of ads and business platform at Facebook.
‘If you have an account, you can do this directly from your Facebook settings, and we honor your choice wherever you use Facebook.’
The company, which has more than 1.6 billion users, offers online advertising services under its ‘Audience Network’ business.
In the first quarter of this year, Facebook generated more than 80 percent of its $5.20 (£3.6) billion ad revenue from mobile ads.
The company has been rolling out new features to ramp up mobile advertising and to encourage customers to experiment with video advertising.
Earlier this week, Facebook came under scrutiny by a professor of mass communications based in Florida about the way it listens to users in the US.
Professor Kelli Burns, mass communication professor at the University of South Florida, said the Facebook app could be listening to what is said near the phone at all times.
She said she spoke loudly about going on an African safari and riding in a jeep. According to NBC, under a minute later, the first story in her Facebook feed was about a safari and a car ad soon appeared on her page.
Facebook says its app does listen to what’s happening around it, but only as a way of seeing what people are listening to or watching and suggesting that they post about it.
At the moment, the feature is only available in the US.
‘Facebook does not use microphone audio to inform advertising or News Feed stories in any way,’ a spokesperson told The Independent.
‘Businesses are able to serve relevant ads based on people’s interests and other demographic information, but not through audio collection.’