Instagram Uses All Your Facebook Data, Too

The news of which Cambridge Analytica collected the data of millions of Facebook users without their consent carries a lot of people freaked out about how much Facebook actually knows about us, along with what of which’s doing with our personal information.

Frankly, people are pissed. A #DeleteFacebook campaign started out trending on Twitter, along with even Elon Musk deleted the Tesla along with SpaceX Facebook pages in protest. Amid mounting public pressure, Mark Zuckerberg along with Sheryl Sandberg went on an apology press tour, promising to do better inside the future. nevertheless of which scandal isn’t going away just yet, along with people are starting to more closely scrutinize how Facebook along with Google collect along with use their data.

nevertheless even before the Cambridge Analytica fallout, we’ve all known of which Facebook knows a lot about us. along with of which’s how of which sells ads — by using all of which stuff of which knows about us to help advertisers target us with their ads.

nevertheless… What about Instagram?

OK. First of all, Facebook owns Instagram.

Of course you already knew of which; you’re a smart cookie. nevertheless a recent survey by the Verge found of which, 60% of people didn’t know of which Facebook owns Instagram. So, just producing sure we’re all on the same page here.

Instagram along with Facebook use the same advertising tool.

Instagram advertising is usually Facebook advertising, along with vice versa. If you want to run an ad on Instagram, you do of which through the Facebook ad tool. along with both Instagram along with Facebook share the data they collect about you with each various other along with advertisers.

So there is usually no such thing as Instagram-only ads?

Brands along with marketers can choose to have ads run only on Instagram along with not show up on Facebook. nevertheless they still have to place the ads through the Facebook ad manager. So yes, ads can be tailored to only appear on Instagram, nevertheless all of of which is usually handled in Facebook’s ad system.

Advertisers can target you based on both your Facebook along with Instagram accounts.

They are essentially one along with the same, as far as advertising is usually concerned. Advertisers can target you on your Instagram based on your Facebook profile, along with they can target you on Facebook using information collected by your Instagram account.

What if my Instagram along with Facebook are totally different, though?

Let’s say your Facebook is usually pretty normal, nevertheless your Instagram is usually something totally weird or specific, like only pictures of your dog, along with you only follow viral dog accounts. You’ll still see ads on Instagram of which are based on the overall profile Facebook has created about you, based on all the things of which knows about you by both Instagram along with Facebook.

Are my likes along with follows on Instagram part of what advertisers can use to target me?

Yep. Your likes, your follows, along with even everything you search for or just browse through on Instagram along with Facebook can help advertisers target you.

What the fuck?!


So do brands know if I like a Kim Kardashian selfie?

Not exactly; they don’t know of which you liked of which, nevertheless all of your Instagram activity is usually rolled into a whole set of data of which advertisers can use to target people like you.

How does a brand use my Instagram activity to target me?

Let’s say an online shoe store wants to target fresh potential customers. One way of which can do of which is usually to upload a list of their customer emails into the Facebook ad manager. Facebook can identify those people by their emails, along with then of which analyzes those people based on everything of which knows about them. Then, of which comes up having a fresh, similar group of potential customers — along with of which’s who the shoe store should target with its ads. So while your Instagram likes might just be a little detail about you, they help advertisers target you.

What if my Instagram is usually private?

Sorry, they’re still using your data to target you with ads. Going private on Instagram only affects how various other users can see you, along with has nothing to do with your data or ad targeting.

What if I use a “finsta” of which’s separate by my regular Instagram?

If you’re switching between accounts inside the app, of which knows they’re connected to the same Facebook account. You might see different ads on the two accounts based on your activity, nevertheless they both use your Facebook profile to target you.

is usually Facebook or Instagram listening to what I say? The various other day I was talking about something out loud along with then saw an Instagram ad for of which.

No, although lots of people certainly have noticed the same thing. The trick is usually, Facebook is usually so not bad at targeting you of which of which can tailor Instagram ads scarily well.

I noticed an Instagram ad for something I looked at online recently — what’s up with of which?

Facebook carries a pixel of which tracks you as you surf around the web (unless you’re using a private browser or are logged out with no cookies). So Facebook can target you based on what you do online outside of Facebook along with Instagram.

Should I delete my Instagram??!!

Your call. If all of of which freaks you out so much you’re willing to give up the fun along with joy of Instagram, then delete. nevertheless if Instagram along with Facebook bring you joy, then… Here are some tips on how to limit the data you give Facebook.

BuzzFeed’s own Nick Greene, one of our in-house advertising experts (yes, we target people on Facebook to advertise to them too), helped explain some of the details in of which post about how Facebook along with Instagram ad targeting works.

Katie Notopoulos is usually a senior editor for BuzzFeed News along with is usually based in fresh York. Notopoulos writes about tech along with internet culture is usually cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.

Contact Katie Notopoulos at

Got a confidential tip? Submit of which here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


1 × 4 =