Do you use Facebook and Instagram? If so, you’ve probably clicked on a link in there. This website opens in the app itself. Yet it is not wise to use that browser.
We spend a lot of time on social media, maybe even too much. On Facebook and Instagram you see the latest posts and photos of friends. Sometimes it contains a link to an article you might find interesting. Yet it is wise not to click on it right away. And yes, actually that is very obvious.
The price of free services
Facebook and Instagram are owned by Meta. That company offers various social media for free. It has a reason for that too, because Meta’s revenue model is to sell knowledge. But as a company, how do you make sure you sell more ads? Exactly, you need to know what your users are interested in. Then they will click on it more often and you can therefore ask for more money.
Facebook and Instagram get the information about users in different ways. When you create a profile on a social medium you enter a lot of information about yourself. This can be simple things like your name, place of residence, email address and phone number, but sometimes it is also your hobbies, interests and work. In addition, you probably ‘like’ certain posts that arouse your interest. Thus, the algorithm knows exactly what you like. Moreover, they also see who your friends are and what they ‘like’. So the company already gets a good picture of you.
Instagram (Image: Unsplash / Claudio Schwarz)
Facebook and Instagram follow you in different ways
What you do on other sites Meta can also do in a different way. In Facebook and Instagram, it has built its own browser. Normally you probably use Chrome or Safari to go to a site, but with social media it works differently. In fact, when you press a link you stay in the app. This seems very convenient at first, because you don’t have to switch between apps. Although, as you might have expected, it also has a drawback.
Leave the browser behind
Krause even goes a step further in his accusations towards Facebook and Instagram. He claims that Meta can even use their own browser to collect credit card data and passwords. However, he has no evidence that Meta would actually do that.
Facebook on your iPhone (Image: Unsplash / Tim Bennett)
Fortunately, there is a solution to avoid the Instagram or Facebook browser. When a link opens in the browser in Instagram or Facebook, you have to press the three dots you see in the corner. Here you can choose to open the page in your own web browser. It’s a bit cumbersome, but you’ll know that you’re no longer fully followed by Meta. Good thing if you like your privacy!