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.
Images from Shutterstock.
Beware Uber Drivers! The Robot Cars Are Coming
Uber announced that that the world’s first self-driving Uber cars are on the road in Pittsburgh, the Steel City. The road ahead is still long, but the implications are staggering.
GPU-Maker Nvidia Moving into Autonomous Vehicles with Chinese Search Giant Baidu
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The DEA Digs Your Instagram Bong Selfies
It will come as no surprise to the average Hacked reader that the government is interested in their social media activity. People talk, and a lot of times, give themselves away, even when doing things which can get them in lots of trouble. Thus the DEA, FBI & Secret Service, all of course with some help from the NSA, are quite keen to know what’s going on with social media.
Specifically the DEA revealed as much in their 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment, an annual report the agency publishes. On page 80, they write:
Social media reflects how younger people perceive marijuana use as evidenced by various Internet searches that demonstrate minors using marijuana publicly and with impunity. Social media users of all ages, but primarily younger individuals, have posted hundreds of thousands of photos of themselves with marijuana products on various social media sites; these photos are associated with hashtags that represent marijuana (e.g. #420, #710, #BHO, #dabs). In 2014, approximately 1,200 new photos and videos were posted to Instagram® each day associated with the hashtag #BHO, a slang term for marijuana concentrates.
In November 2014, after the success of a popular online challenge, another social media challenge was issued for people to post photos and videos of themselves using marijuana in public places with the corresponding hashtag #loudchallenge. In response to the challenge, people have posted videos of themselves using marijuana in restaurants, in airports, on public transportation, and in classrooms.
The report also discusses the up-tick in explosions caused by butane extraction of THC, which then yields a form of hash popular nowadays known as “dabs.” While it’s technically never been illegal to take or post a photo of drug activity, it is not always advisable in states where the prohibition of the plant is still a reality.
But even in legal states, it can be a bad idea to post pictures of grow operations that have not followed the letter of the law, as Susan Squibb of the Cannabist cautioned Coloradans earlier this year:
So, it’s O.K. by state law to post online photos of your home grow, but [Colorado Attorney Lauren] Davis mentions there may be other risks. One factor to consider is whether the photos show off a garden compliant with local laws. Davis says, “If you are not within your legal limits (e.g. your town has a plant cap), you could be facing law enforcement scrutiny for the posting.” So make sure your garden is compliant before posting photos.
Big Brother is watching, and he’d rather you punish your liver than light up that bong. So take all the pictures of kegs and booze you want, those are considered past times. But take the wrong picture of yourself doing something with marijuana and you might find yourself in trouble, as Jeremy Clayton found out last year.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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