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Snapchat has proven to be a great resource for people to connect all over the world through the power of their smartphone. However, a sizeable user base also brings with it a sizeable opportunity for advertising revenue, and that's exactly what the company appears to be promoting - just maybe not in the way you'd expect. The company has filed a patent for a system using object recognition to serve users sponsored filters. The technology outlined by the company would identify items in pictures, then offer users image overlays from related brands. It's essentially tailored advertising on a pretty unnecessary in-depth scale. Despite the application including details about the object-spying described above, its primary purpose is to offer a more general system of recognition-based photo filters. View the full article
Facebook wants to show advertisers that their ads make you visit their bricks-and-mortar stores and buy their stuff. To do this, they’ll use phones’ location services to track whether people actually walk into the stores after seeing an ad. The company’s new Local Awareness ad features will be fascinating for businesses and depressing for the rest of us. Businesses can now include a map with their ad to show users where the closest store is in case they want that $12 dress right now. So far, so good. Then, Facebook’s Offline Conversions API will match in-store visit data (tracked using the phone’s location services) with Facebook advertising data. So, H&M won’t be able to see if you individually visited after its “store locator” sent you strong subliminal messages, but it will be able to match visits with the number of people who saw that ad in their feed and felt compelled to walk in. View the full article
Facebook could be listening in on people’s conversations all of the time, an expert has claimed. The app might be using people’s phones to gather data on what they are talking about, it has been claimed. Facebook says that its app does listen to what’s happening around it, but only as a way of seeing what people are listening to or watching and suggesting that they post about it. The feature has been available for a couple of years, but recent warnings from Kelli Burns, mass communication professor at the University of South Florida, have drawn attention to it. Professor Burns has said that the tool appears to be using the audio it gathers not simply to help out users, but might be doing so to listen in to discussions and serve them with relevant advertising. She says that to test the feature, she discussed certain topics around the phone and then found that the site appeared to show relevant ads. View the full article