Facebook ads revisited

Long time no see, Facebook ads!

I recently stopped using Adblock Plus and thus saw ads at FB once again, oh the joy!
But hey, perhaps someone remembers my really, really old series of blog posts on FB ads? (Part 1, part 2 and part N, back from 2008 😮 ).


Shame on you.

Anyway, I think it’s time to restart the series!

Below I present a selection of today’s ads, in the same format as years ago. (Title – Content – Relevance – Origin)

  1. Title:
    Uinti Tampere (“Swim Tampere”)
    Picture of two small kids in swimming caps. Local swimming club’s activities.
    Relevance (to me):
    Relevant. My kids are of the age and yes, they have been attending swimming lessons.
    Finnish / Targeted to me based on my kids ages (?), my home town etc.
  2. Title:
    Olemme auki läpi kesän – vastaamo.fi
    Picture of a multi-storey house. “Apua mielenterveys- ja käytöshäiriöihin myös kesällä.” Local psychiatrist’s office, ad.
    Relevance (to me):
    Well, not that relevant. I can sometimes be a tad on the crazy side, but that’s only sometimes.
    Finnish / I don’t how it’s targeted.
  3. Title:
    Powerslide Suomi / Nitronstore.fi
    Pictures of inline race skates. Inline skate brands as list, link.
    Relevance (to me):
    Relevant, Inline skating is a dear hobby.
    Finnish / targeted based on my hobbies and groups (plus browsing history?)

Three examples today. What should I say?

Compared to 2008, ads are more relevant to me. There’s certainly a bigger amount of advertisers (and money!), even on the Finnish market.

Targeting principles are more obscure (imo) now at 2015 than they were eight years ago. Clicking the “Why I’m seeing this?” pops up the following:
One of the reasons you’re seeing this ad is because XYZ wants to reach people who are similar to their customers. We think you’re similar based on what you do on Facebook, such as the Pages you’ve liked and ads and posts you’ve clicked on.”

Well, ok.

Then there’s the “Ad preferences” – interesting! Click, click and a list:
fb_ad_prefThat’s a list of things I’m interested in. Let’s click the “Other”:
fb_ad_pref_otherOh, jolly good. I liked a page (which one? Can’t remember.)
Another test:
fb_ad_pref_motherhoodErrm, what? “Motherhood” – “based on what you do on Facebook”? I’m a dad of two, mom of none. Perhaps I do motherly things, don’t know…

And one more:
fb_ad_pref_alabamaIt’s the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University! I have no idea what’s the related page. Remains a mystery – don’t want to dig further;)

Ahem, let’s leave the list in peace now, shall we? Still a tad obscure, but better than used to be.


Facebook Ads is a big business for Facebook nowadays and generates a lot of traffic. (More on the ads on Facebook’s own pages.)
Targeting is hard and sometimes not (do read this old article on hypertargeting ads on a roommate)
Doing ads is hard, also for Facebook. (Some bad, bad examples).
Revisiting old blog articles is fun. This I’ll continue doing;)