AI, ML & Social Media

Social Media has become an integral part of almost everything. It connects millions of people around the world, who share new and interesting things with each other. Consequently, social media has become more than just communication. It has become a platform for big firms around the world, who use it to advertise their products. However, the effects of AI & Ml is not widely known, and marketers use this to their advantage.

AI & ML play a huge role in how you consume Social Media. Everyone has experirence it but cannot identify it. These systems feature absurd processing power and instant analytical capabilities. They eat big data and crap hyper-targeted marketing. They take no breaks or vacation days, and spend no time screwing around on Facebook (except to ingest behavioral insights to make themselves smarter).AI & ML play a huge role in how you consume Social Media. Everyone has experirence it but cannot identify it.

What AI & ML sees

Source: fortune.com

Social media platforms leverages the idea of Big Data. Their AI algorithms search for many things which could explain the psychology and its use in the real world. It tries to find patterns between different data sets and then they use these patterns to identify what a consumer would want to see next. But what characteristics does it actually look at?

Hackernoon.com tells us that there are five major aspects that AI searches for-

  1. How much time do they spend online?
  2. Which social media platform do they spend the most time on?
  3. What do they exactly use social media for?
  4. What form of content do they consume?
  5. Which products/brands get the most visibility from them on social media

Once marketers get sufficient visibility on these aspects, they can combine it with their past marketing campaign data and then build hyper-personalized marketing messages that are sure to bring success.

Instagram

Source: robotics.net

Instagram, the social networking app for sharing photos and videos, launched in 2010. Today, it boasts 800 million monthly active users and is owned by Facebook. It is currently the fastest growing social media platform. There are 70 million photos uploaded to Instagram every day. People interact with each of those posts by showing their love with a heart, commenting and using hashtags. What all of this activity does is create an enormous amount of data.

We’re also going to be a big data company.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom

Here are a few ways with which Instagram utilises AI

Explore Page and Search Function

Via the use of tags and trending information, Instagram users are able to find photos for a particular activity, topic or event or discover experiences, restaurants and places around the world that are trending. Enabled by tagging, the search tools help Instagram users discover things of interest among the millions of uploaded images.

Target Advertising

In order to make the data that Instagram collects valuable, it must extract customer insights from it. By assessing the search preferences and engagement insights from its users, Instagram can sell advertising to companies who want to reach that particular customer profile and who might be most interested in receiving a particular marketing message. Since Facebook with 1.8 billion users owns Instagram they have a powerful network of analytics information to help target advertising based on what people like, who they follow and interact with and what they save.

Enhance the User Experience

In order to ensure users find value in the platform, it’s important for Instagram to show them what they will like. As the amount of content grows, finding content that each user will find relevant becomes exponentially more challenging. When Instagram changed its feed from reverse-chronological order to showing posts that they believe users would like and share, machine-learning algorithms were put on the job to help sort the information and to better learn over time what is most valued and relevant for each user to create a personalized feed.

Study the Human Condition

In one study, 100 million Instagram photos were used to learn global clothing patterns. What would have been an impossible amount of data to review is increasingly possible thanks to machine learning. This work showed the potential for machine learning to help extract insights when studying humans and social, economic and cultural factors around the world. 

The Dark Side

Source: The Guardian

Everyday, the algorithms that social media platforms use to gain insight into people improve. A controversial feature of AI is its ability to perform Face Recognition. It is able to identify millions of peoples faces and matches them with their background to pin point their location. Privacy activists often discuss about this feature and undermine it. Now you may ask, Why is Facial Recognition a bad thing? You have probably seen various news reports on how governments pressurise social media platform to give up user data. You’ve seen it with Apple vs. FBI, Twitter vs. India and many more. Often, social media give in to their requests and some governments even make social media companies sign an agreement which allows the former to ask the platform information about a given individual at any point of time.

However, privacy advocates call this invasion of personal space and privacy. There are some reports that build on this claim. Facial Recognition of individuals have a high error rate. This leads to false arrests of some people who look visually similar to the criminal.

In conclusion

AI & ML have tangible or in some ways, great effects on Social Media. These effects, often good but sometimes false, leads social media to a greater level. The cognisance of such aspects helps marketers to serve profile ads to users. I feel AI & ML will only continue to have drastic impacts on the consumption of social media.

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