Facebook Knows You Like It Even If You Don’t Say (or Click) So
In another addition to its long-standing innovation in the field of knowing you better than you know yourself, Facebook has developed a series of litmus tests as to whether users are interested in videos or not. The majority of Facebook’s development in this department, “like detection” one might call it, have been about what will be displayed in the all-important news feed of a Facebook user.
Facebook has already implemented features that measure how long a user looks at an article and other things done in-browser to determine what kind of content shows up in the news feed in terms of written content. The actual methodology Facebook uses is not publicly known, but it goes far more in-depth than anything marketers have had access to in previous eras. Now, with the video version of similar tracking technology, just about anything the user does about the video will have a corresponding impact on how it is interpreted by the news feed algorithm. For instance, if the user goes full-screen, HD, or turns up the volume, this will be seen as an indication that the user enjoyed the video. Thus, from that small action, more content of the same type will later be added to the news feed of the Facebook user.
Unlike other changes that have happened to the news feed in the past, this change shouldn’t have much impact on the way that content from Pages permeates through the Facebook network, according to a company official. Facebook Pages were once seen as an inexpensive way of viral marketing until Facebook implemented changes where content interaction requirements were increased, and Pages that paid for access were given preference over normal community pages.
Confirmation bias may be at an all-time high in this generation if nearly all new content has some link to previous content liked. It is difficult for the human mind to gain an actual perception of things if sameness becomes a feature rather than a bug. Facebook’s driving motivation is making money, and the best way for them to do that is by having people spend more and more time on Facebook. However, as far as people’s cultural expansion goes, simply having a continual feed of things you have liked, which fit your preferences, and do not challenge your brain to think, can be a net negative for future generations.
Regardless of the moral implications of such a world, Facebook continues its pioneering of content delivery to ever new heights with this new, subtler detection of a person’s preferences. The real question is whether such tactics will be more effective for marketers or not, and what sorts of real data can be gained simply by someone increasing the volume or going to full screen.
If someone is watching a street fight and goes full screen or increases the volume, for instance, does that necessarily mean they enjoy watching street fights in a broader, more applicable sense? It seems it will take some time for an algorithm like this to settle into a reality where humans are not predictable creatures. The outcome will have to focus on more than just the base actions, but also what is being done at the same time. This could lead to a new field of marketing research and unlock a new stream of revenue for the social media giant.
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