Today, Yahoo released a beta version of a new consumer tool called Ad Interest Manager which allow users of Yahoo to opt out of seeing all internet interest ads.
“”To make our ads more relevant and useful for you, we make educated guesses about your interests based on your activity on Yahoo!’s sites and services. Some of the ads we show you reflect these interests. You can opt out of interest-based advertising altogether using the tools on this page.””
“””We use information about many of the pages you have visited, ads you have seen and clicked, and some of your searches on Yahoo! to create interest categories that help us choose the kinds of ads you’ll see. You can edit or de-select categories here or opt out of interest-based ads altogether
Vice President of Policy and Head of Privacy, Anne Toth says about the product:
“Ad Interest Manager will show users what interests we think they have, and also let them edit and change those interests to reflect the most up-to-date information.”
“Importantly, users who don’t want interest-based ads can turn them off completely.”
According to the official announcement Yahoo!’s new Ad Interest Manager tool:
- Provides a central point where Yahoo! visitors can assert even greater control over their online experience.
- Gives visitors an unparalleled view into the information used to deliver interest-based advertising.
- Shows the visitor both Yahoo!’s educated guesses about their interests and a summary of observations, along with other information they have provided.
- Provides a list of specific interest categories that Yahoo! has placed a user into and lets people turn those categories off.
- Allows people who don’t want to see interest-based ads to turn them off entirely.
Yahoo!’s Ad Interest Manager is currently available in beta in the U.S. and will soon be made available to UK and European users. Planned future enhancements to the Ad Interest Manager will also let users add categories of interest that Yahoo! may have missed.
Bottom line this is a very strange product to offer from a company that makes almost all its revenue to selling advertising.
This is a tool for users not for advertisers.
Its the equivalent of say NBC announcing that viewer could decide not to see certain commercials if they wish.
Certainly I see the value of letting users target the ads they see, by allowing them to choose the topics that most interest them, but simply allowing users to opt out of seeing any advertising sounds like a horrible decision by a Yahoo.
To see the full announcement click here.