I get the privacy implications, but asking "why would anyone agree to this" is kind of narrow-minded.
"Satellite" would be friends-of-friends or even friends-of-friends-of-friends in social media terms.
And this is how it comes to ads: when I bought a magazine, I got a set of ads that only had a rough idea about their audience. Those edges were the ones that allowed ads to broaden my views on the world, and, therefore, ads were useful for me. This, and the financial impossibility of ever getting one - early teen in Hungary -, were the reasons why I loved Sony catalogues in the '90s.
Targeted ads are the polar opposite: they want to change me, force me to buy a certain, specific product, instead of gradually opening my interest to a lot more things in the world.
Even when I used FB, the ads were so off target from things I am interested in as to be laughable. Like, THIS is the best you can do with teams of engineers making > $200k/year throwing AI at everything? I'm not convinced that all of this tracking crap is just a way for them to market their ad business - "Look we gather all this data about people, your ads will definitely be seen by people who we know for a fact will be interested in them because of coding and algorithms and machine learning and blah blah blah."
Maybe it is the best we can currently do and maybe it isn't objectively great. But the real question: is it better? I mean, better than the random shotgun approach that was TV, magazines, bus wraps, billboards, etc. Is it better than the spam flyers or "yellow pages" the post office delivered to every single household in some geographic area?
Rather than compare to some idealized perfect, we should compare to the practical alternatives. Maybe this is legitimately the best we can currently do given the state of AI and machine learning. If that is the case, the right question for both advertisers and consumers is whether or not it beats the available alternatives. Because if it does, and advertisers seem to think it does, then that explains why Google and Facebook are worth what they are worth and how they can afford to pay what they pay.
Ads like this are very common for me - a purchase that I would consider to be a one-off thing (at least, for several years, whatever the standard lifetime of that product is) just leads to more ads for different models of that same thing. Occasionally, accessories that only go to a different model or brand of that thing.
I don't see how this is any better than the random shotgun approach - these ads that are 100% irrelevant and not going to lead to a purchase are taking up space that ads that are possibly < 100% irrelevant (even if completely random) could be occupying.
It seems like this would be a solvable problem for Amazon - aggregate the data of everyone who has purchased X model of rowing machine and see how many of them purchased a second rowing machine, which brand it was, and how long after purchasing #1 they bought #2. Don't show ads for rowing machines to people who have purchased X until time is >= avgTimeBetween1And2, with some fancy statistics in there somewhere.
Clearly I'm missing something in my logic, because plenty of people a lot smarter than me work on this adtech stuff.
Your logic may be solid but you probably lack sufficient data. Plato was a pretty smart guy but he thought the four elements were Water, Fire, Air and Earth. His mistake wasn't intelligence or even flaws in his logic - it was missing data. If you begin your logic from one or more faulty assumptions then you will arrive at wrong conclusions regardless of how intelligent you are or how flawless your application of logic is.
I don't have the data either - but you should at least use logic to consider possible reasons why you are seeing the same products you have purchased previously. Perhaps this is a strategy that wins significantly more often than you assume and you just lack the data to illuminate why.
As the other commenter noted, you are but one data point in the literal hundreds of millions of data points available to Amazon. It would be humble to consider that they've tried your best first guess approach and it was suboptimal compared to the alternatives running now. Or maybe you choose to believe you are smarter than every single engineer that has worked on the problem there? And you believe this while lacking any data, having performed no experiments, etc.
I don't have the industry expertise to know how true it is, but I've seen it stated numerous times in threads like this that this is entirely intentional. Supposedly the data shows that a person who just bought a rowing machine is actually quite likely to buy another one (because they aren't satisfied with the first one, because they collect rowing machines, etc) compared to most other demographics.
Sampling methodology. Every ad impression in your sample was shown to the same person, but the ad industry is interested in billions of people.
But for the sake of argument let's say there is some small increment. What is the cost we are willing to pay for that? Databases that know exactly how much time we spend on the toilet? Political disinformation campaigns? Insurrection attempts?
It's like making baby monitors a little bit more convenient, but in the process opening the door for pedo hackers to speak directly to your children's cribs. Tiny conveniences aren't worth sacrificing everything we have.
It doesn't matter to Facebook/Amazon whether or not they show you ads you are interested in (or that might impress you with how deep they understand you as a person). It only matters if advertisers get better results than they would get by spending their ad money on TV, Newspapers, Magazines, Radio, etc.
Perhaps this cohort doesn’t overlap much with, say, New York Times readers, which might be why NYT and every other brand that tried first party non-retargeted ads saw an uptick in ROI.
For most of us, perhaps these ads don’t work or are negative, while this cohort are more like Candy Crush in-app-purchase whales — for them they really really work, so they spend enough that most players think the game is “free to play” while griping about the endless in-app-upsells.
And this is all assuming you actually want to see ads. I don't. It's only when I need to buy something I enter the buying mode: I disable adblockers and start doing research - this is the only small window when ads are allowed to bother me.
Respectful advertising will always have its place whenever the buyer has a choice. It's when the companies selling those ads learn how to manipulate their audience that the 'respectful' parts of the equation get dropped and consumers start to push back.
My Kindle shows me ads. I could pay to opt out, but I actually like the way it handles them. My (former) Alexa on the other hand was IN MY FACE with ads whenever I wanted to even just set a timer. That is grossly disrespectful of me as a human being, so it was shown the door.
I have no experience on Kindles, but on my Amazon Fire HD, I have rooted it, uninstall 50-60% of the bloatware, I have installed "NoRoot Firewall" to cut down on the unwanted comms between my tablet and Amazon, and I now have a perfectly functioning tablet for reading.
Extra tip: install ReadEra and you can read the non-Kindle-app pdf, mobi, epub, etc.
Like Jesus. If a company had good ad targeting I would actually pay to access it and use it as my product search. It’s remarkably difficult given the type of product you want to buy to survey the market and find different people that sell it. I’m currently going through that hell trying to find a water filter dispenser/pitcher. All of the search results are garbage. I know there is more out there than just the 17 models of cheap plastic crap from Brita/Pur but it’s an absolute slog to actually find anything.
Sometimes your site searches will show lists of things ("looking for a jacket? see our list of the best cold-weather gear"). This isn't a dark pattern. It's not targeting you the individual, it's targeting you the person who just explicitly showed intent to buy X. It's really how buying online would ideally work in all scenarios.
You may find that only 70% of the ads are relevant versus 75%, but you will not find that you've unwittingly given away your personal information for the pleasure of buying something.