FYI: Facebook knows way more about us than we think

It’s no secret that part of your personal life becomes less, well, personal when you make a Facebook account. Family, friends, and acquaintances know what you thought of the newest restaurant in your city and which concerts you plan on attending before the end of summer. However, on the more problematic side of having the luxury and ease to communicate with those you care about, Facebook users are faced with the invasiveness that is marketing.


Think about it. How many times have you been scrolling through the depths of the internet and go back to Facebook to see an ad for the very thing you were looking for? In a serious relationship? Facebook is sure to throw an engagement ring ad your way.

But, have you wondered how all of this works? There’s the voluntary information that users post, such as vacation plans, whether you’re getting married, and if you’re expecting. But, there’s also information that isn’t so voluntary, such as lines of credit and if you intend to move, that Facebook can get as well. This information is gathered by tracking your moves on the site, on your mobile, and your location settings. Plus, every website you might visit.

Facebook’s advertising has become more aggressive lately, with the company even butting heads with AdBlocker Plus. The company also released an education portal and an ad preferences page which makes the site’s ad usage easier to understand. This includes a list of 98 — yes, ninety-eight?! — personal data advertising points used to target advertising at users. There may not be any wrongdoing, but it definitely feels intrusive!


Facebook can sell all of this information to advertisers. While the assumptions made aren’t always correct, it’s clear that the Facebook empire (worth over $350 million!) won’t be letting up anytime soon.


Curious about what the 98 points may be? See the full list below:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Generation
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Education level
  • Field of study
  • School
  • Ethnic affinity
  • Income and net worth
  • Home ownership and type
  • Home value
  • Property size
  • Square footage of home
  • Year home was built
  • Household composition
  • Users who have an anniversary within 30 days
  • Users who are away from family or hometown
  • Users who are friends with someone who has an anniversary, is newly married or engaged, recently moved, or has an upcoming birthday
  • Users in long-distance relationships
  • Users in new relationships
  • Users who have new jobs
  • Users who are newly engaged
  • Users who are newly married
  • Users who have recently moved
  • Users who have birthdays soon
  • Parents
  • Expectant parents
  • Mothers, divided by “type” (soccer, trendy, etc.)
  • Users who are likely to engage in politics
  • Conservatives and liberals
  • Relationship status
  • Employer
  • Industry
  • Job title
  • Office type
  • Interests
  • Users who own motorcycles
  • Users who plan to buy a car (and what kind/brand of car, and how soon)
  • Users who bought auto parts or accessories recently
  • Users who are likely to need auto parts or services
  • Style and brand of car you drive
  • Year car was bought
  • Age of car
  • How much money user is likely to spend on next car
  • Where user is likely to buy next car
  • How many employees your company has
  • Users who own small businesses
  • Users who work in management or are executives
  • Users who have donated to charity (divided by type)
  • Operating system
  • Users who play canvas games
  • Users who own a gaming console
  • Users who have created a Facebook event
  • Users who have used Facebook Payments
  • Users who have spent more than average on Facebook Payments
  • Users who administer a Facebook page
  • Users who have recently uploaded photos to Facebook
  • Internet browser
  • Email service
  • Early/late adopters of technology
  • Expats (divided by what country they are from originally)
  • Users who belong to a credit union, national bank or regional bank
  • Users who investor (divided by investment type)
  • Number of credit lines
  • Users who are active credit card users
  • Credit card type
  • Users who have a debit card
  • Users who carry a balance on their credit card
  • Users who listen to the radio
  • Preference in TV shows
  • Users who use a mobile device (divided by what brand they use)
  • Internet connection type
  • Users who recently acquired a smartphone or tablet
  • Users who access the Internet through a smartphone or tablet
  • Users who use coupons
  • Types of clothing user’s household buys
  • Time of year user’s household shops most
  • Users who are “heavy” buyers of beer, wine or spirits
  • Users who buy groceries (and what kinds)
  • Users who buy beauty products
  • Users who buy allergy medications, cough/cold medications, pain relief products, and over-the-counter meds
  • Users who spend money on household products
  • Users who spend money on products for kids or pets, and what kinds of pets
  • Users whose household makes more purchases than is average
  • Users who tend to shop online (or off)
  • Types of restaurants user eats at
  • Kinds of stores user shops at
  • Users who are “receptive” to offers from companies offering online auto insurance, higher education or mortgages, and prepaid debit cards/satellite TV
  • Length of time user has lived in house
  • Users who are likely to move soon
  • Users who are interested in the Olympics, fall football, cricket or Ramadan
  • Users who travel frequently, for work or pleasure
  • Users who commute to work
  • Types of vacations user tends to go on
  • Users who recently returned from a trip
  • Users who recently used a travel app
  • Users who participate in a timeshare
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