Opting into 'link history' on Facebook and Instagram means agreeing to (more) ad targeting

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If you're active on Facebook or Instagram, you may have noticed prompts about a setting called “link history.” The feature allows users to track all the links they visit through Facebook and Instagram's built-in browsers.

According to Meta, the feature allows users to ensure they “never lose” a link. “Easily navigate back to recent links you've visited with your Facebook browsing activity now saved in one place,” says an in-app notification about the feature.

But as Gizmodo points outthis feature also provides Meta with a convenient way to improve its targeted advertising, which has following Apple's crackdown on app tracking. “Keep in mind that when link history is enabled, we may use Facebook mobile browser link history information to improve your metatech ads,” the company notes in a statement. .

Instagram has a similar feature, which keeps tabs on which links users visit through the app's browser. Although it seems like many users are just learning about the settings, a Meta spokesperson confirmed that the features began rolling out last summer.

Although link history isn't enabled by default, it's the kind of setting that many people may opt into without much thought, especially because the company markets it as a way to avoid “losing ” links. This has sparked concern among some privacy advocates, who worry that Meta is using increasingly sneaky ways to collect data about users' online activity.

The good news, however, is that it's easy to check if link history is enabled and unsubscribe if you do.

users will need to open a link from the app and tap menu to open settings from the in-app browser. Next, look for the “link history” toggle. If it is enabled, you will need to disable it and then confirm via the pop-up that you want to disable it.

Screenshots via Facebook

The process It's pretty much the same thing: go to the in-app browser settings, search for “link history” and confirm your choice.

It's worth noting that while both apps immediately delete your link history from their respective apps, Meta says it can take up to 90 days “to complete the deletion process.” This means that your previous browsing activity could still play a role in your targeted ads for several weeks after you turn off link tracking.

Of course, the company has always other ways your online activity, so disabling link history alone won't be enough to fully regain control of your data. Those who hate advertising and live in the European Union, concerned about their privacy, however, have another option, although it may be even less attractive. Meta recently began offering EU users the ability to opt out of Facebook and Instagram ads completely, in exchange for a monthly fee.

This article was originally published on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/opting-into-link-history-on-facebook-and-instagram-means-agreeing-to-more-ad-targeting- 003746719.html?src =rss

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