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Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) released a beta version of a new consumer tool called Ad Interest Manager, which takes transparency in online advertising to a new level for building user trust. Ad Interest Manager [privacy.yahoo.com...] is a central place where Yahoo! visitors can see a concise summary of their online activity and make easy, constructive choices about their exposure to interest-based advertising served from the Yahoo! Ad Network.
"Ads tailored to users' interests make online experiences more compelling and user-focused, and the new tool Yahoo! is launching today will provide transparency into how Yahoo!'s interest-based advertising works," said Yahoo! Vice President of Policy and Head of Privacy, Anne Toth. "Yahoo! is committed to providing consumers with increased transparency and control when they are online. 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." Anne Toth also pointed out: "Importantly, users who don't want interest-based ads can turn them off completely."
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.
Folks, people ARE concerned about Google, I heard some girls talking about it at lunch today. A couple of them had read about it, and the bottom line was they all thought Google was SPYING on them.
They said they've all made other SE's their default search. They didn't come across to me as particularly web savvy, either, because one of them didn't know how to adjust her browser to delete temporary internet files on shut down, and another one had to tell her how to do it.
Time will tell, but this may have legs.
Great timing by Yahoo but unfortunately not many will care about this.
Not many Yaho users will even know about this, since they'll find the Ad Interest Manager only if they:
- Use the link on that page to reach the Ad Interest Manager page.
In the real world, the Ad Interest Manager won't just be ignored by the average user; it won't even be seen by the average user.
They will know about it if there is enough media attention for this development.
But there won't won't be enough media attention. Even if there were, such news stories are read by only a small subset of the Web population and disappear after a few days. (That's probably in Yahoo's best interests, by the way. Privacy policies and related tools are merely PR and CYA ploys, which is why they're so well-hidden on most sites. Does anyone here seriously think that Yahoo! wants people to opt out of behavorial or interest-based ads?)
Pipes is pretty cool. Clunky interface, but still better than most rss feeds dressed up as 'web services' out there today. Delicious is indispensable for me. Flickr really pushed the bar in terms of microformats and provided an innovative social network with actual value. Yahoo has some of the smartest people working for them like Doug Crockford. It's too bad much of this stuff is probably on the chopping block as they focus strictly on content.