“Conducted by research and strategy consultancy MTM on behalf of the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB), the “Media Owner Sales Techniques” study shows that of the £1.86 billion spent on display ads across the internet and mobile in 2013, 28%...”
Did Facebook overstep its bounds when it ran a secret psychological experiment on a fraction of its users two years ago? That's the question at the heart of an Internet firestorm of the past few days. The consensus is that Facebook probably did something wrong. But what, exactly? To say this is one more example of Facebook prioritizing power over privacy is to vastly oversimplify what's going on here. The reality is that people are objecting for a lot of reasons. Whatever your gut feelings about Facebook, don't give into them. Yet. If you're just coming to the story: For a week in 2012, Facebook took a slice of 689,000 English-speaking accounts across its userbase. Then for a random portion of those users, it tweaked the newsfeed in different ways to change what they saw. For instance, some newsfeeds were made to be "happier" when Facebook made negative-sounding posts less likely to appear. Other newsfeeds were made "sadder" when Facebook reduced the incidence of positive-sounding posts. The apparent goal was to find out whether emotions were contagious on Facebook — whether happy (or sad) newsfeeds made users more likely to write more happy posts (or sad posts) themselves. The results were enlightening: The researchers found evidence to suggest that "emotional contagion" is in fact a thing. But Facebook probably didn't anticipate the backlash that followed. Adam Kramer, one of the lead researchers and a Facebook data scientist, penned a Facebook post to address the criticism, saying the study was partly motivated by a desire to understand what would keep people from leaving Facebook. That hasn't stopped a vigorous — and healthy — debate from taking place about the convergence of business and academic research, and whether Facebook acted irresponsibly or unethically with its users' data. Facebook does a lot of questionable things, but its research on Facebook users probably shouldn't rank highly on that list. To understand why, let's unpack some of the charges being lobbed at the social network. Call it a taxonomy of Facebook critiques. Click headline to read more--
“Through this infographic, you will learn how social media can be used to pull customers through each stage of the funnel, from Awareness to Sale and on to Advocacy: right where you need them to be.” __________________ ► Receive a FREE daily summary of The Marketing Technology Alert directly to your inbox. To subscribe, please go to http://ineomarketing.com/About_The_MAR_Sub.html (your privacy is protected).
“Have you ever watched teenagers play 'Call of Duty' for hours on end and wondered what kind of magic keeps these users so deeply engaged? More importantly, have you ever wondered how you might be able to use this magic to engage your customers? It's not magic. It's gamification. Companies have been employing this technique for years-decades, even--but over the past few years, digital marketers have started to realize that gamification can take their campaigns to new levels.”
Facebook has been experimenting on us. A new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that Facebook intentionally manipulated the news feeds of almost 700,000 users in order to study “emotional contagion through social networks.” The researchers, who are affiliated with Facebook, Cornell, and the University of California–San Francisco, tested whether reducing the number of positive messages people saw made those people less likely to post positive content themselves. The same went for negative messages: Would scrubbing posts with sad or angry words from someone’s Facebook feed make that person write fewer gloomy updates? They tweaked the algorithm by which Facebook sweeps posts into members’ news feeds, using a program to analyze whether any given textual snippet contained positive or negative words. Some people were fed primarily neutral to happy information from their friends; others, primarily neutral to sad. Then everyone’s subsequent posts were evaluated for affective meanings. The upshot? Yes, verily, social networks can propagate positive and negative feelings! The other upshot: Facebook intentionally made thousands upon thousands of people sad. Facebook’s methodology raises serious ethical questions. The team may have bent research standards too far, possibly overstepping criteria enshrined in federal law and human rights declarations. “If you are exposing people to something that causes changes in psychological status, that’s experimentation,” says James Grimmelmann, a professor of technology and the law at the University of Maryland. “This is the kind of thing that would require informed consent.” Ah, informed consent. Here is the only mention of “informed consent” in the paper: The research “was consistent with Facebook’s Data Use Policy, to which all users agree prior to creating an account on Facebook, constituting informed consent for this research.” That is not how most social scientists define informed consent. Click headline to read more--
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