Facebook needs to know if you just thought an ad was annoying, or if it was actually inappropriate and no one should see it, so it’s now asking people why after they hide ads they see on the service. Ads marked as offensive or inappropriate will be pulled from Facebook’s site and apps, while the individual user will simply see fewer ads like those they mark as annoying. Facebook will also weight hides more heavily in its algorithm if they’re from people who don’t hide ads often. Facebook says both changes lead to people hiding fewer ads because it learns to show them more relevant ones.
Facebook has become one of the world’s biggest advertising companies, but it has to be careful not to pester its users too much. It walks a fine line, monitoring whether it’s showing too many ads and hurting engagement. If it can use these hidden ad polls to ditch the worst ads and tailor the rest to people who don’t find them interruptive, it can build an even bigger business out of News Feed while still making it fun to read.