It's no secret that Facebook knows a lot about you. The social network has built its whole business on how well it knows you.
But did you know there's a way to look in the back door of Facebook, and see how the site is categorizing you? Follow these steps, it's fascinating:
- Click the "down" arrow on the top right of the screen, near your name and home button.
- Click "settings".
- Click "Ads" toward the bottom of the list on the left side of the screen.
- You'll now see a 6 boxes in the middle of the screen, click on the box titled "Your Information".
On this screen you can toggle settings which determine which advertisements Facebook shows you, based on things like your relationships, job and education.
You will also see a button called "Your Categories". This is where the juicy stuff is, and the detail is unique to you.
In the same section, we found the most nifty of all features. If you're seeing ads about parenting, or trying to give up the booze, there's a way to keep related ads off your screen!
How does Facebook get this info?
The social media giant rakes in data every time you're online, including your age, gender, education and how much cash you make. It knows what you do for work, your relationship status, hobbies and political leanings. Do you love that new show on Netflix? Facebook knows about that as well. On top of that, it also knows the same stuff about your friends and family to deduce a pretty accurate picture of you.
And what is this information used for?
Selling a massive $10.1 billion of ads in the past year, which is shows to it 2.07 billion monthly users, 1.37 billion of which access the site every day. In my case, that's a lot of ads for Cheeseburgers and sales on men's shirts.