Let me share with you something that I experienced, not a long time ago
I was searching and viewing some items online on AliExpress app on my smartphone.
Here’s the list of what I was checking:
- cover for my smartphone
- stylus for my laptop’s touch screen
- smart watches
- thermos coffee mug
I saved some of the items that liked in my wishlist to check them out later and possibly make a purchase.
Later during the day, or maybe the next day (I can’t recall exactly), I was checking my Instagram account as I usually do. Scrolling down through my feed I saw something that I couldn’t believe: A sponsored post from AliExpress, showing the exact same items that I have viewed on the app, together with some other items that I didn’t, appeared in my feed.
No way! I was simply shocked, honestly. It seemed like they were just sitting with me, watching what I was searching for on their platform and then decided to advertise them for me on Instagram, possibly to encourage me to go ahead and do a purchase.
I could’t understand how this happened; neither there is a link (at all) between my AliExpress account and my Instagram nor I am following them on Instagram. So how they were able to take the information from their app and thereafter advertise the items for me on Instagram? I don’t know!
The story continues …
The days passed, I stopped checking AliExpress app and subsequently all sponsored posts from AliExpress eventually disappeared.
Few weeks later, I have decided to go on the Amazon app and check the prices of some tablets and laptops to compare them with their prices if I would by them locally from any electronics shop.
Do you want me to continue or would you like to guess what happened next? Yup, you guessed that right!
Exactly what happened with AliExpress, happened again with Amazon. They were able to readily show up sponsored posts on my Instagram feed with exactly the same items that I have viewed on their app. Amazon was more accurate with its advertisement as they showed only the items that I viewed on the app — nothing that I didn’t view.
Similarly, my Instagram and Amazon accounts have no link at all, and I am not following Amazon’s Instagram account.
So an open-ended arises on how did Instagram use my information and see my usage of AliExpress and Amazon apps and thus, show me sponsored posts on my feed?
I’m sure that if I use other social media apps then I will also get these advertisements on those apps. I assure you.