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Facebook Patents a Way to Identify & Target Important People to Better Monetize Ads

2/18/2015 Alan Kyle Goel

Facebook knows that differentiating between important and unimportant people is an effective way of selling ads. It wants to make more money by targeting celebrities and has come up with a unique way to do just that.

The patent known as “Identify experts and influencers in a social network” was filed by Facebook’s ads head Andrew Bosworth in 2011, but was granted only this week.

A Clever Way from Facebook…

Facebook believes a product that is liked by celebrities and experts will also be liked by others in general. Hence, it only has to convince the experts and their influencers to like something. However, the most crucial part of the strategy is identifying these important people. Therefore, to make the job easy, Facebook recently patented one of the trickiest ways of doing so.

Patents for “influencer marketing” have been received by other tech giants as well such as Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, but none of them have used such an easy and clever way to identify influencers, says a report from TechCrunch.

How Facebook Identifies Influencers…

The social networking company has decided to keep track of the rate content such as a link shared on its site. Then it will track who’s posting results in a sudden increase in share rate. The user who first posted the link is called the “experts,” and the ones whose posts increased the share rate will be known as “influencers.”

“This disclosure generally relates to identifying experts and influencers in a social network and utilizing the identified experts and influencers for advertising, social grouping and other suitable purposes,” the patent reads.

The ads will then be targeted by Facebook toward such people, and the social network will charge businesses a handsome amount to reach “celebrities.” This makes sense because the benefit will accrue to both the company and the businesses. There is no reason for the advertising company to spend the same amount of money for reaching un-influential people as it spends for reaching out to famous, powerful and widely cited people, says TechCrunch.

How do you feel about it?
I don't know about you, but I personally feel used, abused, manipulated, and now humiliated because I'm too young and qualify as "unimportant"... not an "influencer".
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