You Share, They Cash In - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

You Share, They Cash In

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Last year, businesses spent nearly as much, if not more, on digital advertising than on television for the first time ever. The $70 billion business is in a large part to social media, which makes up for about a third of the business. 

Statista analyzes numbers and studies from 18,000 sources world wide. It says 97 percent of businesses worldwide use some form of social media marketing. 92% use Facebook as the primary social media platform. Companies can then target ads based on your personal information and day to day activity. This makes for ads that are more specific to our needs, but leads to massive storage of personal information.

"From an advertising stand point, it's great. Because we're able to target people in ways that we never imagined," says Todd Felts, Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication at the Reynolds School of Journalism, "From a consumer stand point, I think it's important that any consumer recognizes is that this is happening."

Ashlee Barron has accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr just to name a few, "Sometimes I'll get on say a store and they'll have the same store pop up and like, what I was shopping on. Which is kinda crazy to me to think that they can do that." 

There are ways to reduce the amount of information you share with advertisers, short of deleting all of your accounts. Go to your settings and find the ads tab on the side of the page. From there you can check the settings on your Facebook account to tailor what the site shares with its advertisers and its other companies like Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. You can also look at the "groups" that the site places you in and delete ones you don't want.

Felts also says to be aware of your browser's privacy settings and check what it shares with companies. He says Mozilla's Firefox will not share your history and information whereas Google Chrome will. The most important piece of advise he has when on social media is to think before you click, "If you're not willing to say it in a big auditorium full of 500 people, don't say it on social media."

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