“Woah. I was looking at this shirt online last week and now an ad’s come up for it on Facebook. Weird.”
You know the gist, somehow 99% of adverts that come up on Facebook are exactly the kind of things you want, like, or have searched for before. Same with Google, Amazon, Youtube, in fact, same with most ad spots on the web. When this first started happening, people were all “oh my god it’s like they know me!” Well, they do. By ‘they’, I mean the soc med giants into which we all willingly feed a tonne of information that provides them with an intimate profile of who we are. Scratch the usuals – age, location, name, credit card number – these we already know we hand over; what we might be less aware of is that every ‘like’, ‘follow’, ‘share’, click, hashtag, search query, friend, and so on and so forth adds to this cyber-alter-ego that social media sites use to customise our web experience so it becomes tailored to the things we’re most likely to respond to. Sure, this is great if it means less effort searching for the things we’re most interested in, but eventually, when the internet becomes a fully catered-for experience, will it be worth selling our souls to an ever-expanding chorus of marketers, advertisers, and data whores? Maybe, maybe not. Whatever your deal, the infographic below shows which soc med sites are the main culprits, and what exactly they know about YOU.