We all get ads on Instagram, and sometimes these ads are things we’d actually be interested in seeing. But other times these ads are just not things we have ever even looked at or want to see. I, for one, always seem to get ads for things I have never looked up on Instagram. An ad on Mashable written by Chloe Bryan entitled, Instagram lets you see what it thinks you like, and the results are bizarre, talks about how ads may be targeted toward people. For fun, I looked up my own ad interests on Instagram to see what I got.
To find out what Instagram thinks your ad interests are, you go first to your settings, then security, then access data, then ads. What I found was that some of these are accurate for me, while others are not. The article explains where some of these interests may be found. The article says, “Where is Instagram getting all this data? From activity on both your IG and Facebook accounts, for one thing. It also pulls information from third-party apps and websites you’ve logged into through Facebook.” (Bryan)
Even from hearing this information, I still do not understand where it got that I am interested in wine. I do not drink wine or alcohol, and certainly I wouldn’t have looked it up. I also am not into blues music, but I am into hip hop, electronic, and pop music. Further down the list, it even listed K-Pop as my interest, which is very true. As for sports and basketball, the only reason I can think that it would think I’m into those things is because I often post about playing basketball at my house. I do not watch basketball however or sports in general.
Digital Trends put out an article on Instagram ad recommendations as well that is entitled, Getting weird ads? Here’s how to find out what Instagram thinks you like. This article says that, “If you once liked a photo captured in Amsterdam or a photo of a rock climber because you liked the shot, you’ll probably find those seemingly random topics on your list.” (Grigonis) Maybe this is why I have theme parks on my list. I once liked a photo of the new Star Wars land at the Disney Park. It would’ve been better for them to have put my interest as Star Wars though, since I don’t like pictures of any other theme park. Further down my ad list, I did find force (Star Wars) and several other Star Wars related things, which are definitely in the realm of my interests.
In conclusion, Instagram has rightly listed some of my interests, but it also has wrongly listed some of my interests. Personally, I am not fond of Instagram tracking so much of my activity. The Mashable article recommends looking at Facebook privacy settings to try to disable some of the features that keep track of your activities. I plan to look into these privacy settings and disable ones that aren’t necessary. The Digital Trends article says that you can disable data tracking, which they say will not stop ads from showing up but will only cause these ads to not be based on the data they track. If you are someone who really doesn’t look at ads anyway, you may wish to block tracking of your interests.