Instagram and Facebook are both owned by Facebook. Did you know that? When you're on either site, you might notice that the same ads seem to follow you no matter where you go. In fact, you can go on a slew of sites, and you're likely to see the same ad time and time again.

It's not an accident that you're seeing these ads.

Targeted ads will use what you search as a way to know what ads to show you. It's an ingenious way to market, and if you're already searching for plumbers or movie tickets, there's a high chance of a relevant ad being clicked on.

Facebook introduced online interest-based advertising, and the company explains a few major points as to how these ads work:

  • If you visit a hotel site, the company will know and might display travel deals
  • Ads are displayed on people's use of other websites
  • Ads are displayed based on app usage

You're sort of being followed online. Someone, usually an ad company, is tracking your every search and visit in hopes of providing highly targeted ads to you.

But you can stop these ads from overtaking your feed on Instagram, Facebook and any other site you visit – to some extent.

Facebook Makes It Easy

Facebook actually makes it easy to opt out of internet-based ads. You can easily do this by:

  • Logging into Facebook
  • Visiting the ad center
  • Adjusting your settings

Click "ad settings," and choose to shut off ads based on websites and apps. Move through the list and toggle off ads for every option you prefer.

Opt Out Via YourAdChoices

YourAdChoices is an alliance followed by almost all major websites and companies that allows you to opt out of customizing your ads. This is a great option that allows you to opt out of customized ads across nearly 100 websites.

Instagram is not included, but Facebook and Twitter are included.

There are also a lot of advertising companies on the list that you can opt out of, which will lead to thousands of websites not being allowed to display customized ads to you.

Add-ons are an Option

Browser add-ons and apps on your phone can help you remove ads, too. The one issue with this option is that it doesn't allow your favorite sites to make ad revenue. A lack of ad revenue means that the site isn't getting paid for the service it offers.

Facebook, MSN or whichever websites you visit cost a lot of money to upkeep.

So, blocking all ads isn't something I choose to do. But if this is something you want to do, a few options that may help are:

Some sites can detect the usage of these add-ons, and they may not display content based on their usage. But this is a surefire way to stop seeing those pesky ads that keep popping up.

If you don't want a search you're conducting to appear as an ad later on, you can also choose to use "incognito mode" or another mode on your browser that will not keep cookies or sessions.