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Titel / Title User settings for advertising optimization on Facebook: Active customer participation or settings blindness?

Author / Autor

Haji, R., & Stock, W.G.

Source / Quelle Telematics and Informatics, 2021, 59, art. no. 101548, 1-11.
Language / Sprache English / Englisch


Abstract:Facebook and many other social media companies act on information markets with various player groups, which are differentiated by the kind of payment, one group paying with money (normally, advertisers) and the other group paying with their personal data or their attention (i.e., Facebook’s users being simultaneously the advertisers’ potential customers). In order to minimize users’ problems with (rather annoying) ads on digital services, some providers offer user settings for the optimization of advertising. We analyzed the information behavior of Facebook users concerning ad settings with the help of an online survey (N = 1,021). Only about 40% of participating Facebook users know about personalization of settings of their advertising preferences. More than 20% of the users who work with Facebook’s advertising optimization are satisfied since the changes, but 35% are unsatisfied, and another 32% have a generally negative attitude towards online advertising. To describe customers’ disregard or ignorance of settings we introduce the term “settings blindness.” Especially the users’ gender and their educational background influence the information behavior concerning advertisement settings. The results have practical implications for Facebook users (namely, setting their own preferences for ads and thus seeing only personally customized ads), for Facebook and other social media companies (producing less annoying ads leading to a better customer loyalty and maybe more trust in the service), and for advertisers on social media (improving the correct addressing of the target groups).

Keywords: Online advertising, User settings, Information behavior, Facebook, Advertising optimization, Settings blindness



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