Roughly 30% of Facebook advertising targeting by interest is inaccurate or irrelevant according to a study from North Carolina State University.
The researchers examined how Facebook tracks behaviours and topics of users and found that around a third of the time interest tracking wasn’t accurate.
The researchers also recruit 146 participants internationally and developed a browser extension to extract data from their Facebook accounts based on their data. Users reported 29% of inaccuracy as observed in the experiments.
While this is a small study, it notes that Facebook infers interests based on activity and it does so in an aggressive manner.
This means that even just scrolling through a page can lead Facebook to determine a user has an interest in the subject.
Even small actions that signal interest are understood by Facebook as such which leads to inaccurate targeting.
It’s not entirely clear if the inaccuracy is a consequence of Apple’s ATT update which has thrown off targeting somewhat.
But the findings signal that Meta has some work to do to improve its accuracy for advertisers to match audiences more effectively.