News Stories

Is Your Phone Listening?

Have you ever felt like your phone is listening on private conversations because of the oddly specific ads that pop up? We have.

The experiment was simple, talk about a place that we’ve never searched for online before or even thought of traveling to and also an item that there is no reason for us to purchase. Then, talk about it for five days and check for ads on Facebook about those things.

On day 1 we talked about traveling to Switzerland and Moscow and purchasing baby diapers. Neither of us has searched for any of these things and we are both not mothers. The next day, we continued to casually talk about these things with no luck.

Finally on day three, while on camera, we spent time scrolling through our Facebook feeds and there it was “EF Ultimate Break,” an ad to travel cheaply to Switzerland.

Shocked that our experiment had worked, we continued our casual conversations on the topics for three for days and the same ad popped up on the others phone (coincidence?), I think not. Minutes later an ad shows up from buy, sell, trade for baby diapers. Now, this seems like it wouldn’t fit the theme but the post was not from a friend. It was Facebook suggesting that we visit buy, sell, trade with the sponsored baby diaper ad.

For our experiment the tale rings true but Facebook openly denies that they are listening in. What do you think?