Facebook wants to know why you hide ads

By Justin Lafferty Comment

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Facebook users hide ads for several reasons, but now the site is making a greater effort to understand why.

Facebook announced today a few changes in the ad feedback process. When someone clicks to hide an ad, Facebook is making it easier for the user to explain why, such as the ad was irrelevant or repetitive. Facebook had been testing this process for quite some time, but now it’s fully rolling it out.

Product Manager Max Eulenstein explained the process in a blog post:

We’ve learned that the reason why someone hides an ad can be just as important as the hide itself. If someone doesn’t want to see an ad because it’s not relevant to them, we know we didn’t do a great job choosing that ad and we need to improve. If someone doesn’t want to see an ad because it’s offensive, it probably isn’t a good ad for other people on Facebook, either.

With this update, News Feed is going to take into account the reasons why people give us for hiding an ad. When we identify an ad like this, we’ll show it to fewer people on Facebook.

Facebook is also giving more weight to feedback from users who rarely give feedback. They figure that those who don’t speak up often must’ve really objected to an ad if they’re blocking it. Facebook noted that those who rarely hide ads ended up hiding 30 percent fewer advertisements after giving feedback:

We know that a small group of people share feedback less frequently than others, and this is especially true for ads. So, we’ll now weight feedback differently based on how often someone hides ads and other content in their News Feed. If someone hides things very rarely, we’ll consider that when we choose what to show them. If we think there is even a small chance they might hide an ad, we won’t show it to them. This affects the type of ads we show everyone, but has a bigger impact for people who don’t often hide ads.

Readers: How often (and why) do you hide ads in your News Feed?

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