It's happened to all of us: you're talking about a specific, niche thing that you haven't searched before, and the next time you open Instagram there's an ad for it.
According to the CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, that's just 'dumb luck'.
For anyone unconvinced by that theory, Mosseri floated another one: you've forgotten that you had been searching for that very thing - or a related topic, at least - and you started talking about it because you'd already searched for it.
'You might be talking about something because it's top of mind because you've been interacting with that type of content more recently,' Mosseri said.
'So maybe you're really into food and restaurants. You saw a restaurant on Facebook or Instagram and you really like the thing. It's top of mind, maybe it's subconscious and then it bubbles up later. I think this kind of thing happens often in a way that's really subtle.'
Mosseri's comments, in a TV interview with CBS' Gayle King - his first since taking the role nine months ago - earned an acrobatic eyebrow raise from King, who described receiving targeted ads herself.
'I swear I think you guys are listening. I know you're gonna say you're not,' King said.
His response falls in line with the company message at Facebook, which owns Instagram: we could not possibly waste storage and time on collecting audio files from everyone.
Despite many anecdotal reports, and a few experiments to back up the coincidental targeted ads, researchers have found no evidence that Facebook or Instagram do listen to you.
Reports have found that while many game apps on your phone may track your voice, there is no evidence that major apps do.'
Read more: Facebook owned Instagram CEO insists the app is NOT listening to you - and it's just 'dumb luck' that you see ads on your feed for things you were just talking about
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