Your life, According To Facebook Advertising
Investors are losing confidence in Facebook because users are increasingly accessing it via mobile devices, but all their adverts are all on site. My hypothesis is that it’s the adverts that are driving people away from the site.
A recent article suggested that Facebook knows if you’re pregnant by scanning the content of your status updates and photos for things references to scans, and the wrinkled mugs of grinning babies, or something, and then targeting adverts for baby related stuff.
I suppose if you’re pregnant and Facebook knows it could feel like you’ve had your diary read by a sleazy ad man after your dollars. But what’s it like if you’re not pregnant, and Facebook thinks you are? Let me tell you, it’s actually infuriating.
That ever-present garland of low quality adverts, ever dangling impotently down the site of the screen when you’re writing messages are the proponents of evil insidious normative messages.
You share your experiences and photos with your friends, and those personal exchanges become commodities, boiled down to the essence of who you are in the eyes of advertisers. Based on your demographics, and your likes, these adverts tell you the story of who, statistically, you should be.
Who am I according to Facebook?
1. A few years ago, I was single, looking for tacking sparkly high heels, a boyfriend, and constantly worried about my weight.
2. A few months ago I was preparing my wedding.
3. Now I’m pregnant and have a small child.
But it’s all wrong, factually inaccurate. Facebook adverts are like the overbearing parent obsessed on getting their daughter married off and reproducing, paying no heed to career aspirations and interests beyond IVF and diapers. Facebook adverts are telling me that I should care about, even if all evidence is to the contrary.
Admittedly I am overreacting, but as a female it’s very easy to get wedding and baby fatigue, both from friends and from the media. And it’s not just the family-starting thing, sometimes media/social pressure to wear feminine (often tarty) clothes, pile on the make up, have mainstream girl interests, to dislike typically ‘male’ things etc.
It’s very alienating.
After the wedding advert blitz a few months ago, I went around and liked a bunch of tech pages on Facebook, but for all my efforts I only get the occasional advert offering cheap and nasty logo services and web domain. The baby blitz reigns strong.
Gmail uses targeted advertising, and it’s so much less obtrusive, and sometimes even amusing. E.g. write to a Japanese person and get adverts in Japanese about English schools, write to a Chinese friend, get adverts in English for ‘sexy lady to take you round China. Hmm.
I wonder, if Facebook adverts pay per click, how many times do I need to click on the ‘preggers uk’ advert before I sent their sorry company bankrupt.