Google announced that its updating Buzz to give users more control over the ads that target them. Could this development both increase consumers' trust in Buzz and help internet marketers reach more open, relevant audiences?
According to Google, changes are being made to boost user trust. It wants to “be clear about the data [it collects] and how [it uses] it – and give people real control over the information they share.”
The company explains that it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission regarding transparency about its data collection. Google reminds users that they can visit the Google Dashboard to see what info has been stored about them, and they can also use the Ads Preferences Manager to edit the data Google uses to tailor ads from partners.
The Ads Preference Manager allows people to remove industries Google has associated with them in order to ensure that ads from these sectors will not target them. Additionally, users can choose to add categories related to industries they are open to seeing ads for – from beauty and fitness to food and drink.
Marketers may be asking themselves if this privacy update could give Buzz an edge on Facebook in terms of display ads.
Brafton has reported that Facebook is supposed to drive social ad spend beyond $3 billion by 2012, and the company is constantly testing new formats – including one unit that displays ads according to real-time updates. While brands may like the relevancy offered by these ad units, they raise privacy issues for consumers who feel they are being too closely monitored by the network.