Plenty has been written about this before, but I’ll put my oar in.
Facebook knows lots about you. Most users key in a bunch of stuff about their hobbies, favourite music, TV shows, all that kind of stuff. They know (roughly) where you live, how old you are, often your marital status, your interests.
So why are their adverts so hit-and-miss?
Sometimes they’re spot-on. I’ve seen Life On Mars t-shirts advertised, with pictures of Gene Hunt proclaiming some particularly amusing line from the show, such as “You’re surrounded by armed bastards!”. I’ve clicked through, and seriously considered ordering one. Well, until I saw the price.
But most of the adverts are useless. Hold ’em poker — is there anything in my profile that suggests I’d be interested? Meet hot singles — Facebook knows I’ve been in a relationship for almost five years. Surely it isn’t predicting some kind of seven year itch coming up? Earn money from surveys — did I click on a “I need cash” option somewhere in my profile?
Snoring keeps her awake — uhh, no comment.
If computer systems are going to store a bunch of personal data about you, you’d think they’d at least make the effort to use it in a sensible way — not to mention if they get it right, they can make more money.
Or maybe I shouldn’t complain. At least the way things stand, I can happily ignore most of the ads that appear.