How is it possible that web ads refer to some irl discussions we have sometimes?

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How is it possible that web ads refer to some irl discussions we have sometimes?

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5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s a cognitive bias known as the frequency illusion which occurs when you first learn of (or are newly reminded of) something and therefore notice it at an increased rate afterwards.

It’s also sometimes called the “Baader–Meinhof phenomenon.”

Anonymous 0 Comments

This is a product of “big data” collection and processing. The advertising companies are constantly collecting and analyzing your behavior based on the various crumbs you leave online through TikTok, Facebook, Google, etc.

The companies can figure out a lot about who you are, what your interests are and then serve targeted ads to you based in all that data they’ve collected.

The served ads are probably mostly off-base and don’t relate to you and your immediate interests, but some are **spot** on. You only really notice the ones that match up exactly.

This is a form of confirmation bias. That is to say, you ignore the 150 ads that don’t immediately relate to your IRL conversation, but **THE ONE** that is selling you the beer your buddy **just** mentioned 15 minutes ago stands out in your mind. It feels uncanny, like the advertisers are listening in.

In a way, they are. If you are say 25ish, live in Minneapolis, search for beard styling cream, plaid flannel and penny farthing bikes, you’re likely going to be served ads for hipster beers and hipster jeans. You’ve outed yourself as a hipster and you, on a big-data scale, are a special and unique person, that has interests that overlap with the other 2,500 hipster and hipster adjacent people in your area.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Those ads have become really clever at guessing.
Like, millions and millions dollars invested in it clever.
And if it has the slightest clues, like your and your mates phones being close to each other (with location tracking enabled on some apps) and your mate googling vacation targets the evening before it will guess the two of you will talk about vacation.
That and guessing a lot will eventually lead to some correct guesses.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Lol how many five year olds just glassed over at all these comments about bias?

Do you want a real ELI5 answer?

Everyone carries a phone with them all the time. That phone is always turned on and telling on you. It tells where you are, like if you are at school or at home.

Well, because everyone else has a phone too, the phones can tell who is in the same class because all those phones are together all day long.

So when one person in your class buys a Paw Patrol toy, or watches a lot of Paw Patrol on YouTube, their phone says “hey this kid really likes Paw Patrol, maybe their friends from school would too” and starts telling all the other phones about Paw Patrol.

Now, it probably looks crazy if you were just playing Paw Patrol at school and suddenly your phone is showing you Paw Patrol. How did it know?

Their phone told your phone. Computers are so fast at telling each other things that sometimes your phone will hear about it before you hear it from your friend. And sometimes your phone will show it to you at just the right time that it looks crazy, but it’s really not.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The most direct reason: you notice them. You see a lot of ads but you just perfectly ignore them. Unless you’ve just talked about a thing related.

Indirect reason: you talked with someone else about a thing. You haven’t searched or bought online the thing. But the other person could. The other person is probably in your contact list, so – it’s a clue for the algos to show similar ads to online contacts.

Even more indirect reason: maybe it’s a popular thing and a good guess? Like winter is near so it’s probably a good thing to look for a pair of good winter shoes.

People often talk about relevant things. The advertisers are trying to guess what is relevant. What is popular.