Reconsidering Ads in Social Media:
A Self-Actualization Approach
A Clemson University project funded by a Facebook Research Award
The “Reconsidering Ads” project aims to design, build, and evaluate intuitive explanations of the ad recommendation process and interaction mechanisms that allow users to control this process. These mechanisms are built in line with the nascent concepts of recommender systems for self-actualization and user-tailored privacy. The ultimate goal of this effort is to make advertisements more aligned with users‘ long-term goals and ambitions.
So far, this project has entailed the following activities:
- Phase 1: Ad explanation literature review: We developed classification scheme that categorizes the existing literature on ad explanations .
- Phase 2: Ad experience measurement instrument: We are developing a set of questionnaires that can be used to users’ reactions towards online ads.
- Phase 3: Redesiging the ad experience: We aim to produce a fundamental redesign of the ad experience on social networks, reimagining the very concept of advertising as a means towards an end that serves the longer-term goals of the user.
- PI: Bart Knijnenburg, Assistant Professor in Human-Centered Computing
- Daricia Wilkinson, PhD Student in Human-Centered Computing
- Lijie Guo, PhD Student in Human-Centered Computing
- Moses Namara, PhD Student in Human-Centered Computing
- Karishma Patil, MS Student in Industrial Engineering
- Apoorva Manda, MS Student in Computer Science
Phase 1: Ad explanation literature review
The purpose of this effort is to conduct a systematic literature review on ad explanations, covering existing research on how they are generated, presented, and perceived by users. Based on this review, we developed classification scheme that categorizes the existing literature on ad explanations offering insights into the reasoning behind the ad recommendation, the objective of the explanation, the content of the explanation, and how this content should be presented. This classification scheme offers a useful tool for researchers and practitioners to synthesize existing research on ad explanations and to identify paths for future research.
Phase 2: Ad experience measurement instrument
This effort involves the development of a measurement instrument to evaluate ad experiences. The validation of this measurement instrument is still ongoing, but the end result will entail a carefully constructed set of questionnaires that can be used to users’ reactions towards online ads, including aspects of targeting accuracy, accountability, transparency, control, reliability, persuasiveness and creepiness..
Phase 3: Redesiging the ad experience
This effort involves a fundamental redesign of the ad experience on social networks, reimagining the very concept of advertising as a means towards an end that serves the longer-term goals of the user. We are still in the very early stages of this activity, but we aim to explore the paradigm of recommendations, insights, and/or personal goals as a vehicle for this transformation of the ad experience.
Wilkinson, D., Namara, M., Patil, K., Guo, L., Manda, A., Knijnenburg, B.P. (2021): The Pursuit of Transparency and Control: A Classification of Ad Explanations in Social Media. Full paper at the Hawaii Interational Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/70704.