Every single day, more than a billion active users share their thoughts, photos, news, videos, memes and more with friends and connections on Facebook.
Sure, we know we’re sharing that content and the associated meta data that goes with it back to Facebook. Our sign-in and posting locations; where we took a certain photo; what events we attended and which artists we enjoy. We share all of this, much of it indirectly, without a second thought.
And yet some of us are still surprised when it seems like ads are following us around the web!
Have you ever searched for something, only to see that same product pop up in a sponsored post in your Facebook stream the next time you sign in?
Or read an article about a certain topic, then had ads about that topic appear in your Facebook newsfeed?
The amount of Facebook data collected about us is staggering, and it’s not for no reason. They essentially lease out our online profiles to companies looking to sell us goods and services.
In fact, examining those Facebook ad targeting options sheds a lot of light on just how much personal information they’re collecting–everything from relationship status to location, life events, political leanings, interests, digital activities, and personal connections.
The car you drive.
The charitable donations you make.
The websites you visit.
Facebook’s partnerships with offline data tracking companies means they have a crazy amount of information about your online activities, but also about the money you spend and the things you do in the real world, too.
My company, WordStream,, compiled all of the current Facebook ad targeting options in one epic infographic to demonstrate the breadth and depth of the personal information advertisers can use to target consumers via social media. Check it out: