Facebook takes a hint with new formula for ads

The social network says it's placing more emphasis on member feedback when deciding which ads to present in News Feed.

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Matt Harnack/Facebook

Can Facebook take a hint? The company said it is adjusting the algorithm behind the ads that run in News Feed to deliver more sponsored content that people might like and less of what the social network knows they don't want.

"When deciding which ad to show to which groups of people, we are placing more emphasis on feedback we receive from people about ads, including how often people report or hide an ad," Hong Ge, News Feed ads engineering manager, wrote Friday in an announcement on the changes.

In essence, Facebook is promising to listen a bit more to the feedback that you provide with your everyday social-networking behaviors. The company considers your clicks, likes, comments, and shares when determining what ads to insert into your News Feed. It will also heed your ad hides as well. The changes, if implemented as described, should come as welcome news to Facebook users who report advertisements only to find similar spots in their feed later on.

Facebook, Ge said, hopes to improve not just the quality of ads, but the timing of them as well.

Though seemingly an obvious adjustment, the feedback-inspired ads adjustments could adversely impact marketers' campaigns, which partly explains why Facebook may have been reluctant to pay too close attention to your negative feedback before. "Some marketers may see some variation in the distribution of their ads in the coming weeks," Ge wrote.

 

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