According to the press release, the tool:
- Provides a central point where Yahoo! visitors can assert even greater control over their online experience.
- Gives visitors an unparalleled view into the information used to deliver interest-based advertising.
- Shows the visitor both Yahoo!’s educated guesses about their interests and a summary of observations, along with other information they have provided.
- Provides a list of specific interest categories that Yahoo! has placed a user into and lets people turn those categories off.
- Allows people who don’t want to see interest-based ads to turn them off entirely.
As the quote indicates, the system gives you a list of ad categories Yahoo believes you’re interested in, based on your activity on the site, including search history, and properties including Yahoo Answers, Flickr and Yahoo Groups. You can then switch off each individual category. Switch off seven categories, and the system prompts you, asking if you want to switch off all behavioral targeting.
Overall, this is a smart move—allowing users to target ads to themselves insures greater value for advertisers. But the system will only work as well as its implementation—both the targeting and the promotion of the system must be good enough for the system to gain widespread use. Yahoo will have to use fairly prominent, probably front-page, promotion to not only show that are they behind this system, but to make their every day users aware of the improvements.
What do you think? Will you use the AIM targeting system? As a user or an advertiser, are you excited about this?