Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Facebook Finds THE Way to Target Key Influencers

This article highlights that Facebook has patented a technique for identifying key influencers.  Essentially they are going to look for the rate of change in popularity of something (a product for example) based on where and from whom it was shared.  They then plan to use this information to allow (and charge) companies to send these key influencers targeted advertisements with the hopes of getting them to pass the information along to others.  Google and others have tried to do something similar but they tend to focus more on the amount of followers you have vs. actually tracking the ramp in post-sharing popularity.  

This seems really interesting to me and in theory it should definitely help advertisers get a better ROI (although that will clearly depend on what they have to pay Facebook for the access).  Frankly, the first thing I thought after reading this article was that if I was a key influencer, I would love to know so that I could have the companies contact me directly and I could get paid for it (have you seen the money some of these professional YouTube bloggers make – $5M for playing with children’s toys?  IT IS ABSURD).  Clearly Facebook doesn’t want that and I am sure that takes away some of the perceived impartiality of the influencer but it could still be a nice pay day.  
Interesting read.  Would love to find out if Professor Kagan has heard of this or has any insights.

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