Spotlight On Social Data Powering Mobile & Display
The early days of social data
The strength of networks in the world of media has always been proportional to the size of their audience. This has continued to hold true for digital, but what has been added in the new paradigm of social networks is the depth, quality and variety of insights each has the ability to capture about their users.
In most cases, this is data that is derived from the networks themselves and require no third party involvement from the likes of Nielsen or ComScore. Given this, it is no surprise that a number of the leading social networks have developed ways to monetize the various streams of data and have taken it a step further, leveraging the information to more effectively and efficiently extend their audience reach.
Three types of knowing
What social networks know about their users, is for the most part based on what people actually do on those networks.
For instance, Facebook began as a closed invitation-only platform for college students to stay connected within their small communities. It began by collecting information such as email addresses, users real names and locations and school attendance. But as it expanded beyond its original audience, Facebook remained grounded as a connection point for pre-existing contacts using real identities (for the most part) to connect with each other.
In contrast, Twitter began as much more of an affinity network, allowing people who may not know each other to connect based on interests or topics. Unlike what is typical of Facebook, these connections are often not reciprocal, and that makes the information Twitter collects distinctly different.
Both examples tie back nicely into the three types of knowing: Identity
–utilized by most networks at different touchpoints, with some having certain strengths relative to each other.
For example, Facebook is stronger when it comes to identity, as is LinkedIn which relies on people using real names and details in order to network based on their career. Twitter has strength conversationally, particularly around external events thanks to their newsfeed which is based solely on recency, at least for now.
A network like Foursquare, however, is based on actions –from checking in, adding photos, sharing reviews or simply going from one location to another.
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