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Is Facebook listening to us?

I often get lost down the YouTube rabbit hole. I start by watching a music video and then somehow, three hours later, I’m deep in conspiracy theory videos. A popular question amongst those theorists is “is Facebook listening to us through the microphones in our phones?.”

I’ve always wanted to know the answer myself, so I thought I’d go right to the source. The man himself, Mark Zuckerberg. Turns out Mark is a pretty busy guy, and getting in touch with him isn’t as easy as just sending him a Facebook message.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, testifies before Commerce and Judiciary Committees in Washington about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Luckily my YouTube addiction finally came in handy. I stumbled upon a five-hour video of Zuckerburg testifying in front of Congress. He was being questioned about their privacy policy after a scandal around election time.

One of the topics that came up was ‘is Facebook listening to us’. Mark shut these theories down with a simple “We don’t do that.” when questioned about the theory by Senator Gary Peters.

So that’s it folk. Theory debunked with four words. I heard it right from the source himself. Facebook isn’t listening to you.

So how does Facebook show us those incredibly relevant ads if it’s not listening to what we say?

Simple. As Facebook users, we are giving it the info it needs.

How Facebook Ads Work:

Every time we use Facebook we are feeding it information about ourselves. With each post, comment, react, share, update or scroll we are teaching it. Teaching it our likes, dislikes, passions, behaviours and personal information. It can also track what you’re doing on websites and apps outside of Facebook, giving it an extremely broad profile of you as a user.

That information can then be used to target ads specifically to you and your interests. This is the power of Facebook. Its incredible audience targeting capabilities.

On some level, the power of Facebook is slightly scary and a little ‘Big Brother’. But as marketers, we need to embrace it. For the right people to see your content, you must utilise these incredible features. If you know your customer, you can target them and people like them. Easy.

Don’t rely on potential customers to find you, with Facebook you can go out and find them.

If you need help with targetting your Facebook ads and content, we’re experts at it! Get in touch and we’ll help you unlock the true power of Facebook ads for your business.

~ Likeable Hollie

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