Online users could soon have more control over the advertisements they see.
Online users may now have the option to opt out of ads and see why they are being shown certain categories of advertisements.
Marketers have long had the ability to specifically target certain users with ads the users presumably want to see, but that doesn’t mean the marketing is always accurate.
Certain categories of ads could potentially be upsetting for users. Recovering alcoholics wouldn’t want ads for beer. An individual with an eating disorder doesn’t want the latest advice on diets. Users can now have the power to limit these ads or others that they don’t find useful.
ByteDance, Meta, and Google are planning to allow users to opt out of certain categories, reports The Wall Street Journal.
TikTok, for example, has started to allow users to filter their feed by blocking certain hashtags and words, giving users more control. It now plans to use the same model to allow users to filter ads.
Backing up a bit
YourAdChoices currently shows users at the click of a button why they are being shown certain ads. It is currently testing a new feature that will allow users to filter their advertisements by category on most websites.
When completed, the feature will allow users to select an option that alerts advertisers that the user does not want to see certain ads.
Categories users can opt out of include diet and fitness, family and parenting, gambling, and alcohol and tobacco. Users can also mark themselves as uninterested in ads for jobs, new cars, or new electronics.
Snap, Meta, and Alphabet have had similar options for a little while now, allowing users to select “see fewer” on their advertisements. In May, Google announced that it would be expanding this feature, allowing users more control over the ads that they see.
“My Ad Center” has a variety of settings where users can adjust their preferences on certain ad categories. The new feature will be available later this year in YouTube and Google’s Search and Discover products.
Why it’s news
Online advertising can at times be overwhelming. Advertisements can be helpful when you’re searching for the best deal on a new product, but when the algorithm gets something wrong, the consequences can range from annoying to harmful.
If a user isn’t looking for a new car but is flooded by advertisements for the latest deals, the advertiser is wasting its money on the consumer. By allowing users to tailor their ad experiences, advertisers can focus their money on better targets.