You’ve likely experienced this: you’ll be talking about something with a friend, and then 15 minutes later, you’re scrolling through Instagram…. and BAM. There’s an ad for a product related to the very topic you’ve been discussing. You think…hmm, is Instagram listening to me?

Chances are, this has happened on more than one occasion. Perhaps you experience it regularly.

So what gives?

Are Facebook and Instagram listening to us via our phone’s mics?

Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, gave a rare TV interview on CBS this week, and answered the question.

He attributes the phenomenon to either ‘dumb luck’, or, slightly more insidiously, that you might have subconsciously been influenced by other advertising previously, which made you talk about the topic.

“We don’t look at your messages, we don’t listen to your microphone… doing so would be super problematic, for a lot of reasons,” he said.

Ignoring the privacy issues, the amount of data it would take to be constantly uploading voice messages to Facebook’s servers would surely be reflected in your phone bill. Right?

What do you think? Has this interview convinced you? Or do you still think they’re listening? 👂

Discover more of our latest thoughts on social media.

Suzie Ryan

Suzie is a Content Marketer for SmarterQueue based in London, UK. She loves helping brands and businesses find their voice through content and storytelling; and is particularly fond of the creative possibilities of social media as a platform. When she’s not writing, she’ll be found somewhere in North London, seeking out the bars that serve G&Ts in goblets. 🍸