Adventures in Facebook Dating Ads

Adventures in Facebook Dating AdsIt’s 2011. I’m an angry social media nerd and I’m single. Normally, I don’t list my “Relationship Status” on Facebook because it’s not my “friends” business. However, I decided to change my status. For the past month, I listed myself as a single male interested in men. I didn’t say if I was interested in friends, dates or whatever, just that I was single and gay.

For that month, I proceeded to mostly get awful ads about gay dating websites or other aspects of my romantic life.  Now, presented with comments, are a fraction of the various ads I’ve received.

Meet Singles Today Ad with couple pictured

This one is sad because it asks me to meet singles, and clearly the guys are already together. Just crush my hopes before I click the link.

Little Gay Book Ad with Renowned Matchmaker

Renowned matchmakers rely on Facebook ads to attract customers. And what if I’m not ready to meet the man of my dreams?

Looking for Cupid Ad

First of all, I’m not looking for Cupid. Cupid is a match-making mythological cherub. Second, even if I was looking for cupid, I doubt he’s some guy who takes poorly lit photos on his webcam for Facebook ads.

Facebook Underwear AdThis ad says I won’t be able to attract a man without a pair of good underwear. And here I thought it was all about my charming personality. Also, why on earth is the underwear censored? Are cartoon undergarments that offensive?

Facebook Manhunt App Ad

Another thing I need? An app from a website that specializes in hookups. Thanks for ruining my ideas of internet romance, Facebook.

4 Dating Ads at OnceEventually, Facebook just started ignoring all of the other interests and likes I’ve listed in my 6 years on the site and would only serve ads for dating sites.

Gay Romance Book Facebook Ad

Of course, if I can’t get a man, I can always settle down with a good romance novel.

This is creepy and offensive Facebook. Stop trying to play matchmaker and let me connect with my friends.

Does anyone else get ads this creepy from Facebook? Or is Facebook just harassing me because I’m gay?

Oh, and I’m now back into the realm of no relationship status. I can’t deal with anymore targeted ads that only target one facet of my humanity.


14 Responses to Adventures in Facebook Dating Ads

  1. Joshua S Sweeney January 3, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    I wonder how much of the info that the ads use is based on your friends’ info. I get ads all the time for Christian singles, Asian dating, and progressive causes, though I list no religion, political, or ethnic preferences on my page.

    • Jay January 3, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      It could be that. It could also pull in other info off of your social graph from other sites based on likes or traffic on sites integrated into Facebook.

      Or maybe it just thinks you’d be a good match with a progressive, Christian Asian single.

  2. GSP January 3, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Dating ads = high CPC/affiliate commissions ($$-$$$ per signup). No-one’s paying money to advertise to your love of Fellini films or that you work in a particular industry.

    It’s not so much intentionally creepy as an emergent creepiness where the most profitably marketable facets of your personality are pushed to the forefront at the expense of everything else that makes you a complex, nuanced human being.

    If you want a picture of the future — imagine a gay dating advert, screaming in a human ear, forever. (Apologies to Orwell)

    • Jay January 3, 2011 at 11:03 am #

      I should have known dating ads were bidding the most to be seen as my ads. Too bad they don’t realize I’m more likely to spend $500 on an iPad than to spend $500 on dating sites anytime soon.

  3. Cole January 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Yeah, I have very few likes/interests for a number of reasons…one reason being I know that the information is just going to be used to advertise towards me. So since I have no obvious likes/interests I get targeted mainly as a single straight male, which means my ad bar is filled with a number of dating websites. So I know your pain.

    • Jay January 3, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

      I hope one of those reasons isn’t “I just don’t have many likes an interests.”

      I can only imagine straight dating site ads are just as bad if not worse.

  4. Gwynne Murphy January 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Doesn’t beacon have something to do with it? Or did they get rid of it? Also all those websites that you use Facebook to login probably play a part.

    This example is worse that stalker-esque mobile advertising.

    • Jay January 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

      Beacon was shut down a while ago because it was so creepy, and I don’t use Facebook to log into any sites. Ever.

      This is exactly why people hate Facebook.

      • Gwynne Murphy January 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

        True story. People hate Facebook but can’t remember all their passwords. Sigh.

  5. Ruth January 6, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    On my real FB account, when I was engaged, I was constantly getting served with wedding planning ads. Now that I’m a 25-year-old female whose status is “Married,” I get lots of ads for my pregnancy, my beautiful baby, preschool, etc. Damn good targeting, though 100% off-base…unless FB knows something about me I don’t *glances at uterus*.

    • Jay January 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

      Damn, that’s really creepy.

  6. Lee January 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    I have two Facebook profiles. One for my “day job” (I work for NASA) and one under my fiction writing pseudonym. Somehow, a single chick who writes about ghosts, witches and vampires ends up with adds for depression and ADHD…. eh-hem…. And a nerdy tech-writer with a kid gets romance novels and education ads. And I do bother to “train” the ad thingie… but its like Facebook has decided what’s best for me… lol Golly, my life must be pathetic… I wonder why I am so happy! :-\

    • Jay January 11, 2011 at 1:07 am #

      Ugh. Facebook must think all writers are depressed with no control over their lives except what they put on the page.

  7. Gone Bird January 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Thanks for the idea! I just changed my identity (before that there was just nothing) - now I am a man and like “man” in German language - the ad results are not very amusing. Maybe the German copywriters have to learn their lesson… (I can help them as this is one of my professions…)