Instagram keeps a detailed list of everything it thinks you're interested in — here's how to find it (FB)

FILE PHOTO: The Instagram application is seen on a phone screen August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/File Photo

  • Instagram
    compiles a list of topics it thinks you’re interested in inside the
    Instagram app itself, which is used to show you relevant ads
  • You can check the list for yourself with just a few taps into
    some of the Instagram app‘s deeper
    settings. 
  • My own list of supposed interests starts out accurate, but some
    missed the mark.
  • Visit
    Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

You can see what Instagram thinks you’re interested in by going
into the app’s deeper settings options.

The list of interests is, of course, related to ads and ad data.
Instagram says your ad interests are
based on a combination
of who you follow, what posts you like
or comment on, and other websites and apps you use. If you have a
Facebook account, Instagram pulls data from there, too. 

I checked my own list of topics that Instagram thinks I’m
interested in, and it’s a little confusing. I’m not particularly
interested in many of the topics in the list that Instagram has
built for me. 

For example, I’m not especially interested in tattoos, or
physical fitness, and I really don’t care much about video games at
all. Instagram definitely knows me well from my first interest,
though: online shopping. I’ve clicked through enough Instagram ads,
and follow enough influencers who tag all their clothes, to see how
that one ended up in my interests. 

You can check your own list of topics of interest that Instagram
has compiled about you to see if it’s accurate. Here’s how.

Antonio Villas-Boas contributed to an earlier version of this
post.

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From the Instagram home page, tap the profile icon on the bottom
right.

Then, tap the menu icon on the top right.

Next, tap “Settings” …

… select “Security” …

… and hit “Access Data.”

You’ll need to scroll all the way down and tap “View All” under
“Ads Interests.”

There, you’ll be able to see what kinds of topics Instagram thinks
you’re interested in. There are dozens of interests on the list —
just keeping tapping “View More” and the list will fill in.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, categorizes users by their
interests to more easily
sell their data to advertisers
. Websites like Facebook and
Instagram collect users’ interests, along with demographics like
age and gender, to determine what ads they will see. A recent
article in The
Cut
looked at how ads break down by gender, where women tend to
see disproportionately more ads for bras, home decor, and
supplements, just to name a few. These definitely check out with my
experiences, too. 

Facebook has faced criticism and legal trouble for how it has
used this data in the past. Facebook was involved in several
scandals over mishandling customer data, and CEO Mark
Zuckerberg
appeared before Congress to talk about how data
analytics firm Cambridge Analytica
improperly gained access to the data.
Facebook can even follow

what you buy
in physical stores.

More recently, one of Instagram’s partners, Hyp3r, was able to
collect user location data and secretly save their stories, a
practice which only stopped after
Business Insider
reported on it. 

If you don’t want to see ads based on your data like this,
you’re in luck. This summer, Facebook
introduced a feature
that shows where ads come from, and allows
you to opt out of targeted ads under your settings. Those settings
then carry over to Instagram.

Source: FS – All – Interesting – Lifestyle
Instagram keeps a detailed list of everything it thinks you're interested in — here's how to find it (FB)