Yesterday was my birthday and as I was dipping in and out of Facebook, reading the birthday messages sent to me by my Facebook chums, I noticed that Facebook itself had sent a birthday greeting. Well, I shouldn’t be surprised, after all, they do have the details of my date of birth, but still, I thought it was a nice touch.
As the day wore on and I kept going back to read new birthday greetings, I noticed something amusing in the small ads running down the right hand side. First, there was an ad for a t-shirt featuring the year of my birth. Again, I thought, that’s clever but well, Facebook knows that so it would be simple to put that ad there for me to see. Later on in the day, there was an ad for curing male pattern hairloss. How do they know I’m bald? On my profile pic, I’m wearing a hat! Then later still, there was an ad telling me how to achieve a flat stomach! How do they know I have a bit of a William Shatner going on?
Of course it’s probably a mixture of targeting and coincidence, but if there was an ad offering pills that would make me a genius at Actionscript 3, then I would have been completely freaked out!