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Facebook is spreading ads beyond its network

If you're not a Facebook user but have ever visited the site, you'll probably start seeing ads via Facebook.

© Kay Nietfeld/dpa/Corbis

Ads on Facebook will now appear on other apps and websites for anyone who has ever visited Facebook's site. That's right. Even if you're not a Facebook user, you'll probably be viewing ads that appear on Facebook.

Facebook currently has over 1.6 billion users, but by expanding its "Audience Network," the company's advertisers will touch a much wider audience than that.

This move will improve ads for users, according to the company. People with Facebook accounts will be able to opt out of interest-based ads, and those without accounts will be able to learn about and disable ads. But it also begs questions of privacy, considering that personalized advertising relies on recording users' cookies and other information-gathering techniques.

In response to these questions, a Facebook representative said, "It's important to note what Facebook is introducing is consistent with [what] hundreds of other companies have been doing around the world."