Facebook's new patent will scan your picture for advertisers
The patent granted to Facebook will allow it to scan the image for objects in a multimedia content and might sponsor the story.
The patent titled 'Computer-vision content detection for sponsored stories' will scan a multimedia story uploaded by a user using computer vision algorithms and detect specific objects within the multimedia object. To simplify this, if you have taken a picture at McDonalds with a bottle of Coke or coffee in your hand, Facebook will be able to scan through the image and find the object 'bottle of Coke' and will promote the object, i.e., bottle of Coke or the brand Coca Cola from the users' news feed to a sponsored stories area.
To remind you, Facebook has been accused of misusing user’s data. The ads displayed by the company during the 2016 US Presidential Elections influenced voters and caused widespread anger. The ads displayed by Facebook were sponsored by Russian agencies. Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp also and it is one of the largest social media platforms in terms of its user base worldwide. But, there are concerns about its handling of users' data.
Basically, Facebook will now know what brand you use and love to share with your friends. It will use these data including your demographics to bring more sponsored content by informing the brand the user is using. Once the brand gets to know about your location and age group, it will be able to specifically target people of the user age in a particular demographic. This will help both Facebook and the brand to get more reach for their product.
The user's profile is also scanned by Facebook to know the interest of the user and target stories that are of interest to the user. The patent mentions that sponsored or promoted stories generated from actual stories in users' newsfeed are more likely to be viewed by users as they include interactions or suggestions by their connected friends, or fan pages that they are connected or subscribed to.
As the patent mentions, Facebook will be able to look through users' photos and generate 'heat map' to help a brand to finely tune their query demographics.
In the digital era, users’ data are utilised by many social media companies and websites to bring advertisement and engagement on their platform. This also leads to the stealing of users’ personal data, which they have not granted permission to access. It will be interesting to see how the company uses this technology in the future. There have been questions about paying the users for taking their data and earning money from it.