Political advertising on social networking sites such as Facebook is increasingly making use of personalized ads to target specific social media users in the US election year. According to the researchers, current elections will now more than ever before be including microtargeting on social networking sites in their campaign strategies. Also Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!Also Read - What happens to your Facebook account after you die?
Future studies on whether personalizing ads leads to more positive outcomes, such as mobilization of citizens to vote, or to more negative outcomes, such as avoiding political content, will give us even further information on this tactic, said Brenda K. Wiederhold from Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels.
Sanne Kruikemeier, Minem Sezgin and Sophie Boerman from University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands found that compared to a regular Facebook post, a political personalized Facebook ad activated a voter’s persuasion knowledge. It made them less likely to share the information but only when the person noticed the label identifying the ad as being “sponsored.”
The authors define persuasion knowledge as an individual’s personal beliefs and knowledge about the motives and tactics related to advertising. The effectiveness of online political microtargeting and the role of “persuasion knowledge” were examined in a paper published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.