When it comes to advertising, Instagram is one of the platforms that’s a little less irritating than, say, Facebook.
It’s still social media, though, and like all social media accounts, it collects information about you and uses it to target you with things that it thinks you’ll like.
Even the big dating apps are doing this – there’s no escaping it.
If you’re interested in what Instagram thinks you’re interested in, The Next Web will guide you through the process of finding out:
There are two slightly different paths to finding the list depending if you’re on mobile or the desktop site. To get to the list on mobile, go to Settings, then Security. Go to Access Data, then scroll all the way down to the bottom, where you’ll see Ad Interests, and select “View All.”
On desktop, go to Settings, then Privacy & Security. Select “View Account Data,” and you’ll find Ad Interests at the bottom right.
Here’s what Instagram thinks I’m interested in:
Of course, the hazard of my job is that I have to engage with many things I probably wouldn’t have looked at in my leisure time, like influencers, which might be throwing things off.
That said, with the exception of one article about the Rugby World Cup, I don’t write about sport, I have never posted anything about sport, and it’s unlikely that you’ll find me reading sports-related content willingly.
That one article didn’t draw anything from Instagram, which means that the site is probably getting its information from the other websites that I visit.
It’s all a little creepy. You’re also stuck with it for life because, for some reason, the list can’t be altered without some unnecessary effort on your part.
The only way to alter the ads list is to hide ads you don’t think are relevant. That requires extra work on your part, but it’s currently the only way to be proactive about altering the list.
To do this, tap the ellipsis on the side of the ad and select “Hide Ad.” This doesn’t necessarily have any immediate effects, but you might eventually see less of the kinds of ads you hide.
Of course, the trade-off is that you have to give Instagram (and Facebook) even more information about yourself and your preferences.
Hard pass. They have enough information.
I refuse to feed the beast.
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