When you hide an ad on Facebook, the social network takes note, studying the intent to deliver more relevant ads to your news feed.
The company said Thursday it has analyzed the reasons people choose not to see an ad, using them as signals to decide whether or not to show the same ad to others. “If someone doesn’t want to see an ad because it’s not relevant to them, we know we didn’t do a great job choosing that ad and we need to improve,” Facebook said in a blog post. “If someone doesn’t want to see an ad because it’s offensive, it probably isn’t a good ad for other people on Facebook, either.”
By not showing sponsored posts marked as offensive or inappropriate to the greater Facebook community, the social network said it saw a “significant decrease in the number of ads people reported as offensive or inappropriate.”
Furthermore, when Facebook paid special attention to users who rarely hid ads–choosing not to display sponsored posts “if we think there is even a small chance they might hide [it]”–those users ended up hiding 30% fewer ads. “[W]hen we listen carefully, this feedback helps us show better ads–even to those who aren’t very vocal,” the company said.