On Instagram, I am haunted by foodie ads. Gourmet dishes, advertisements for new restaurants and especially new spaces for patisserie and cafeterias and the like appear again and again. I have ever clicked on any of them, which leads me to think that the algorithm has taken notice, but I have also been surprised by their segmentation flaws.It is not at all strange that among those foodies ads they make many recommendations for spaces in Barcelona and Marbella, despite living on the other end of the Iberian Peninsula and despite the fact that this is information that Instagram and the gigantic environment of Facebook they should know about me. Every now and then, new restaurant announcements make room for other things. Advertisements for a method of going on a diet appeared recurrently for a while that promised cost in a year as well as new shoes and great success. Now they are trying to convince me to join a gym, at least in my own city.

What do all these ads say about what Instagram knows about me as a consumer and what can be gleaned from all of this about how it works as a gateway for ads? Instagram has, as all social networks and all those environments that collect data and more data and try to position themselves in a transparent way in the face of consumers’ fear of what they are doing, a tab in which they can discover what they know of you.Entering is surprising and almost even one of those elements that can be seen and discussed with others. About me, Instagram seemed to know rather little and the list of things that it considered that interested me was rather unsuccessful (curiously, after seeing the list of interests with a group of users of the social network in a kind of informal study of the issue , Instagram failed a lot in the likes of its most intense users and less in those who published little or nothing on their profile, but followed others).

A journalist from the American medium Vox has , however, managed to outline with a kind of reverse engineering how the Instagram algorithm works. She has done so based on the advertisements for Nigeria Phone Number List swimsuits that have been haunting her since the shopping season began on the social network (and which, as she explains, in her market is a kind of constant recurrent among consumers of a certain age range, a little like in Spain the announcement of ClearBlue had been a while ago). Swimwear ads were haunting women on social media and why it helped to understand what was causing this to happen.The key to the algorithmAs he points out in the analysis, the first element that drove the ads to persecute the journalist (and women in general) was in engagement. She, as I once did with the advertisements for new coffee shops and candy stores, had clicked on one of those messages.

The women who were receiving them too (some even confessed that she had ended up capitulating and buying one of the swimsuits that haunted her on Instagram). Once a response to an ad is shown, that topic becomes what Instagram thinks we will see and respond to in the future and the ad in question will become a gold standard. The topic will start to haunt you.It is not the only operating pattern that the journalist detected on how the Instagram advertising algorithm works. Of course, there are also the questions of the data that Instagram allows companies that use in segmentation, to select by age, gender, location or interests.

Instagram, they recall in the analysis, seeks, yes, to sell itself as a more neutral platform in advertising, but despite this it is inevitable to feel that in the end certain types of ads end up chasing certain types of consumers (the Americans in addition to seeing even boredom swimwear ads also see them for bras, which clearly shows niche targeting).Transparent brands, brands that are not so transparentAnd, in addition, the avalanche of advertisements for swimsuits on Instagram also allows us to find another reality, that of what is advertised on the social network and that of how much one can trust. The ads are full of legitimate brands, true, but also questionable brands with too low prices and not very trustworthy reputations.

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