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Facebook, Emotions, Stories and Personalized Advertising.

News Article: http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/oct/29/facebook-reactions-emotional-youtube-google-ads

Facebook wowed it’s over billion active users lately through the announcement of its (in trial phase) “reactions”: a set of cute ‘emojis’ that users can choose to attach emotions to posts rather than just ‘liking’ them. The new buttons represent love, laughter, sassy smiles, shock and annoyance, and what the social network expects is that people will no longer be constra950ined in their emotive reactions on Facebook. This could be fruitful for the user but more so for the social media giant.

Facebook ads rely heavily on your profile details such as your age, your work/education status, your interest in games, movies and so on. However, the social network has not been particularly able to utilize the gargantuan information it stores for its users in terms of posts, likes and comments. When users like certain posts, it gives valuable information on what the user’s interests are. A ‘like’ can only attach so much of the user’s emotion towards a post. However, these reactions allow users to express empathy along with shock and other emotions. If Facebook, sometime in future, can develop Artificial Intelligence that can sort through all of this “big data,” an explosion of actually valid targeted advertisements could occur. Reading the content of a post or analyzing a photo along with these emotions could allow Facebook to more than just know your interest; privacy issues aside, this capability would means Facebook would actually know you. Similar could be the case with Google and Snapchat – no longer would they have to manually assign ad ranks, AI could do it for them. They can even go as far as to process real time ads based on the user’s current emotional state.

Not only the ads, but so will the stories be affected by this. The current algorithm Facebook uses to rank its stories is based on the tie to the person, number of likes and comments. But these data can often turn out to be very materialistic. With the introduction of emotions (and a great advancement in machine learning), a much more humanly approach could be taken to presenting your news to you! Even though this scenario might take quite some time to play out, Facebook is making itself much more expressive. Is this a step in the right direction?

http://www.socialadstool.com/facebook-ads-guide/how-facebook-ads-work/

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