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Facebook to Harvest Users Browser Habits to Serve Adverts

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Facebook has confirmed that it is to start collecting logged in users behaviour across the wider internet in order to more accurately target adverts served on its own website.

The company is giving people an option to opt-out of that if they want, although behavioural targeting is already widespread within the online marketing community as it helps focus adverts more accurately to the users interests.

As Facebook explained: "Let's say that you're thinking about buying a new TV, and you start researching TVs on the web and in mobile apps. We may show you ads for deals on a TV to help you get the best price or other brands to consider."

"And because we think you're interested in electronics, we may show you ads for other electronics in the future, like speakers or a game console to go with your new TV."

That is not much different to the way online adverts often work elsewhere. If you did a search in the UK for train fares, then a number of other websites you visit later in the day might show train fare based adverts.

As Google Ad Preferences permit a user to see what Google thinks they are interested in, Facebook will also offer a similar tool, so if someone is not interested in a topic, then they can remove it from the Facebook targetting.

Facebook said that the facility will launch in the USA at first, and then roll out globally over the next few months.

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Tags: facebook  mobile advertising