Facebook has filed a patent for ad-targeting technology that is based on a user’s friends interests. This way Facebook can serve more relevant ads to users who have not filled up their profiles with enough information for ad targeting.
“Members of social networks often do not populate their profiles to include all of their interests and other personal information,” stated the patent application explains. “As a result, using personal information in ad targeting is typically not available for all members of the social network. Traditional ad targeting techniques are thus limited because they can reach only a subset of the members in the social network for whom the ads are intended.”
Even though you may not have the same interests as your friends, it is safe to say that a large portion of your friends have similar interests. “For example, an advertiser may determine that an ad may infer an interest for a member if more than 25 percent of the member’s connections satisfy the secondary inferential targeting criteria or if at least 3 connections meet the main targeting criteria, or a combination of both,” stated the patent application. “The ad targeting method may also weight the member’s connections or otherwise take into account the member’s affinity or other measure of closeness to the member’s connections. Any combination of the above methods may be implemented in the ad targeting method.”