Yes, we know Facebook has been tailoring ads for its users based on their interests.  Every time a user hits  “Like” for something — a book, or restaurant or a service — Facebook uses that information to help tailor ads directed to those interests.  But that’s been information internal to Facebook.

But up to now, those ads have not been linked to Facebook users external Internet activities.  But now Facebook will be helping advertisers access information about users 3rd party websites activity. That’s being done through a new service called Facebook Exchange.

How will this work?  What does it mean for Facebook users?  Facebook Exchange will put cookies on 3rd party websites — especially those where a user has shown a history of intending to buy.   Knowing who is likely to buy what is an even richer source of information for advertisers. So advertisers will use Facebook Exchange to bid in “real time” to place targeted ads for their products and services on Facebook users’ profiles.

So what can you do?  If you don’t mind having these cookies on your computer, and you like getting ad information, then you don’t need to do anything.  But now you’ll understand how these additional targeted ads are coming to your Facebook profile.

And, by the way, Facebook is just joining Google Inc and other web companies that are already using “real time” bidding to put targeted ads on their sites using our browsing information.

So what can you do if you don’t want your browsing information being used this way?  Then it gets tougher.  To opt out completely, you’ll have to go through all the steps to disable 3rd party cookies on your computer.  Amanda Pittman does a good job of explaining some of those steps in her article “Facebook to Let Advertisers Bid on Ads Using Your Browser Data” (see,

Now that you know what Facebook will be doing, you can decide what approach is the right one for you and your personal browsing information.