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Why Facebook Ads Suck: It Cares About Your Privacy

I’ve never run a Facebook advertising campaign.


Because, based on the crappy ads that are served to me, each time I log in, I have no faith that my ads will be served to those that are actually interested in what I have to offer. Now I know why:

We have designed Facebook to provide relevant and interesting advertising content to you in a way that protects your privacy completely. We never share your personal information with advertisers. We never sell your personal information to anyone. These protections are yours no matter what privacy settings you use; they apply equally to people who share openly with everyone and to people who share with only select friends.

So, that explains it. Facebook protects your privacy–even if you want the whole world to know who you are.

But, is that the best approach?

I’ve often suggested that I’d be willing to share more of my private information, if it would lead to better targeted ads. Not just better targeted ads, but ads that match up so perfectly with my interests, I actually look forward to see them each day. When was the last time you looked forward to seeing an ad on a web page?

I know we’re in this tricky age of trying to determine how far we should go to protect our privacy, but has Facebook gone too far? I mean, it won’t share information with advertisers “no matter what privacy settings you use.” You could tell the whole world that you’re married, have two kids and are trying decide on a family vacation to Six Flags or Disney, but an advertiser can’t deliver you a customized offer for 3 nights at DisneyWorld, no matter what. Sounds kind of crazy to me.

I guess my point is this. Yes, go ahead and protect the privacy of those that want it, but where’s the freedom? If I tell you it’s OK to share what I publicly post to Facebook with advertisers–in order to get better offers from them–what’s wrong with that?