Social ads are somewhat a new Internet phenomena invented by Facebook (I suppose). They have caused plenty of discussions and anger from the Internet community but social ads, obviously, have survived and flourished.
A social advertisement works in a very straightforward way: if you, by a coincidence or whatever reason, have liked a Facebook page or ad, your friends will see your “like” next time they see the same advertisement. You might feel comfortable with that, however most people are not aware of the fact that by simply “liking” something (and thus expressing a passive form of appreciation), they also start recommending the same thing to their friends. LinkedIn launched a somewhat similar form of social advertising this summer.
Another disturbing thing is that in both systems, you find yourself automatically “opted-in” the social advertising system. Yes, you can opt out, but only if you know about the system and can spend a little effort and a few minutes of your time to do a quick research on how to disable it for your profile. So here’s a quick guide for those who feel they don’t want to participate in social advertising at LinkedIn and Facebook.
Opt out of Social Ads at Facebook
Facebook social ads show an advertiser’s message alongside actions you have taken, such as liking a Page. This means that if you have liked a page which is being advertised through Facebook, your friends will see that you have once liked that page (and may feel more likely to do the same):
We have mentioned how to stop appearing in social ads at Facebook in our extensive guide on safeguarding your Facebook privacy. However Facebook is in a good habit of constantly moving privacy settings all around and now the necessary option seems to be in a completely different section.
To find the way to opt out of Facebook social advertising, click a tiny arrow next to “Home” link in the upper-right corner of the screen and choose “Account Settings“. There click “Facebook Ads” in the left-hand panel.
Now, scroll down to the second option, read about the social ads and, if you are still not convinced that you want to participate in them, click “Edit social ads setting”.
There you can at last set whether you want your friends to see your name in an ad or whether you prefer to opt out:
Note: Independent of this setting, you may still see social actions in other contexts, like in Sponsored Stories or paired with messages from Facebook.
Opt out of Social Ads at LinkedIn
LinkedIn took a step further in social advertising: it shows your photo alongside an ad. Here’s an example of such an ad from the official LinkedIn blog. As far as you can see, people who have been following a company group, are now unwillingly advertising their services:
To opt out, you need to login to LinkedIn and click this link. There click “Manage Social Advertising” and un-check the option allowing LinkedIn to use your name and photo in social advertising:
Do you feel inclined of opting out of Facebook social ads? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
** Editor’s note : This is Ann’s last post with MakeUseOf after exactly three years writing for us. She is leaving to pursue her own projects and will be greatly missed by everyone here. Please join me in wishing her all the very best for the future. **