Video: Dropped and Leaked: 48 Million User Social Profiles
Facebook and Google earn money by combining services and advertising with a single user ID – usually their official name. But that leads to a messy user experience as the algorithms try to guess your interests from a large tableau of your various activities.
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Everyone has a name, but we are at least 18 different people, maybe even more. Think about how different you are during the week: you have a managerial role at work compared to your family role; You're a football coach on Wednesday and Saturday. organize a bicycle club on the weekends; in the evening you can do yoga classes and dance classes; on Friday afternoon you volunteer at the local food bank; You visit your grandparents every Sunday with your siblings and children; They go dancing and socializing every Saturday with the same group of (non-work) buddies; and you regularly attend your local alumni events. Then on Sunday there's your silent DJ walking group and your online photo community and other professional associations and your kids' school with their parent and teacher communities, etc.
Same name ̵
1; 18 very different people
The Algorithms of Facebook and Google have grouped all these different personalities into one ID – but we are always just one person. Despite all the data about us all these huge platforms do not seem to know us very well.
For example: I do not need or want to know everything about a work colleague or the office details of a distant family member. And why do I have to report my activities to others when not necessary or connected? It costs time. People need partitions between their different activities – and they are looking for them.
Just because it is easy to summarize a person's activities does not mean that it is a service for them. It is not. It's a service for advertisers.
We now have a national debate on people's rights to their data and their privacy. We have to realize that the problem is much more complex. Each user consists of 18 different people with different privacy needs and rights.
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And as for targeted advertising – which of my personalities are being promoted at a certain time? My personalities are expressed individually and they have no concurrent interests.
More ads that are less effective
Years ago, Google scrapped separate IDs for each of its services in favor of a single user ID. This simplified ad sales and created large potential audiences for advertisers.
But the user experience becomes messy and the advertising is less effective because the algorithms target one of your more profitable online personalities (usually if you do not use them).
This was not a problem with contextual advertising, where, for example, ads for cameras appeared on a camera content page. This could explain why Google's advertising does not work very well.
Google's parent Alphabet [$GOOG] reported strong financial results for the first quarter earlier this week, but once again, revenue per click was down sharply from a year ago and this time dropped to almost a fifth or 19 percent.
In the last few years, Google reports a significant revenue loss per click of 15 percent to 20 percent every quarter.
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But it manages to find more places to sell more ads to counteract the inexorable decline in revenue per click. Fewer clicks per ad, but more ads – that's Google's growth strategy. And that's our future on the Google Web: more advertising because it's less effective.
Single-topic, walled-garden communities
The increasingly intrusive aspects of targeted advertising, plus the prospects of a network with straight more advertising, puts the future at the center: people will join the single-topic communities connect walled gardens where common interests and activities remain there, unless they are voluntarily shared by each person or by a community agreement.
Many are subscription-based services, meaning users do not need to be snooped. And many online communities will be very local. This is the only way people can take control of their personal information as they no longer have control over their usage.
People can retreat into communities without advertising. It will be a big setback for the brands and their insatiable thirst for customer data.
Why does your soap powder have to know so much about you? This collection of data is harmful because it exposes people to hidden political manipulation.
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The big consumer brands have chosen an adverse marketing strategy that pushes people away – and into ad-free enclaves. Good luck to reach you there.