With Facebook Exchange, users will see more targeted ads based on what they’ve recently posted or searched for as the company tries to boost revenue. While you’re probably growing used to that, it represents a change in Facebook’s stance toward cookies.
Previously, Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg felt that collecting cookies and gathering that kind of information was scary and lacking in transparency. In a November interview with ZDNet, Zuckerberg talked about how companies such as Google secretly collect information to tailor a Web experience toward each individual user:
It’s just that they’re collecting that about you behind your back, really. And it’s like you’re going — you’re going around the Web, and they have cookies, and they’re collecting this huge amount of information about who you are. But you never know that.
However, with Facebook launching Exchange, it seems the company’s tune has changed. At least with Exchange, AllThingsD notes that users can opt out once they’ve been targeted by a cookie-enabled ad. The company also claims that advertisers won’t be able to mix the data they collect about users outside of Facebook with the pool of information that the social network has learned on its own.