The two most prominent social networks are “embracing opposite strategies, but heading to the same place: To add social intelligence to everything you do.” This is the current state of affairs as FB shrinks and G+ expands. Facebook will create (or buy) more products, like Message, Poke, or Instagram, while Google consolidates its many products around Google+. The idea is to leverage the massive data mills each company owns to serve ads wherever people decide to go next, even if not necessarily their own mega-social network. For example, Facebook’s user data can work to target ads on any of their products without users knowing that FB is at work behind the scenes.
Each company is trying to attract the maximum number of eyeballs and serve up extremely relevant, highly personalized ads on both desktop and mobile. To be all things to all people, each needs lots of services, products, and apps, but tied together with each company’s social signals and identity. To achieve this, Facebook needs many more products and a lot more “artificial intelligence,” which are initiatives the company has explicitly said they’ll take. Google needs to take the many products it already has and make them more connected to its social and identity information. So although the two companies seem headed in opposite directions, they’re actually competing towards the same goal: To add social intelligence to everything you do, plus add identity to everything you do so they know who they’re servicing up ads to, while also enabling purchases.
This interesting article shows how social networks will deepen their understanding of their users and incorporate AI to make online advertising much more effective.
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