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Serious bummer for anyone who thought abstaining from a Facebook profile would help them live that blissful off-the-grid life. The company announced Thursday that it is going to begin to expand its existing Facebook Audience Network—which previously only showed ads to those with Facebook accounts—to include everyone.
"We think companies can do better, and that's why we've been focused on improving ads both on and off Facebook," Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's VP of Ads and Business, wrote Thursday. To help them "do better," Facebook hopes the expansion of its Audience Network of third-party apps and sites will provide a more streamlined ad experience for both frustrated companies and annoyed users alike.
But what does this mean for the Facebook-less portion of the planet? According to a breakdown from the Wall Street Journal, it means Facebook's top-shelf tracking skills will now reach virtually everyone:
To date, Facebook has only showed ads across its Audience Network to Facebook users, targeted based on information the company has collected about its users’ tastes and behaviors. Now Facebook plans to collect information about all Internet users, through “like” buttons and other pieces of code present on Web pages across the Internet. It will then use the information it collects to target ads to non-Facebook users.
Both Facebook and non-Facebook users will reportedly have the option to opt out of the targeted advertising, though that promise is not likely to quell the fears of those adamantly against all forms of digital behavior-based marketing. Apparent 1984 vibes aside, the idea of companies tracking your every digital move to curate a personality-driven ad experience is nothing new. Facebook's Audience Network expansion, however, could bring about widespread change for the advertising industry at large.
Want to get a taste of a real off-the-grid lifestyle? Ask the 15 percent of Americans who claim to have never, not even once (not even to find out whether penguins have knees), used the internet. If they can't give you a straight answer, just Google that shit.
Facebook did not immediately respond to Complex's request for comment.