Popular On Facebook? You Could See More Ads

Dennis Faas's picture

If you rarely use social networking sites or share links with friends, there's some great news. You might just see fewer advertisements thanks to a new plan from Yahoo.

The company has filed a patent covering a system by which advertisers can pay extra to reach users with a high "social authority". (Source: uspto.gov)

A social authority ranking would be based on several factors, including a person's use of sites like Facebook and Twitter. The number of friends or followers the person has on these sites would also be considered.

Advertisers Looking For Social Network Chatterboxes

Through the social authority plan, advertisers would measure how your posts are shared by other people, or how many times other people directly mention you on their website.

This means there would be higher rankings for Internet users who have a diverse range of friends because they have the potential to reach more people.

In short, the ranking tries to figure out how likely it is that you will see an advertisement, share it, and have it go on to be seen by a lot of people. Such ranking systems already exist but haven't been used for advertising purposes.

Social Authority Ranking Determines Ads You See

Under the Yahoo proposals, social authority could become another factor in deciding the ads you see. Online advertisers can set explicit filters on whether or not a particular individual sees an ad.

For example, when placing an ad on Facebook, a firm can ask that it only be shown to people of a certain age, gender, and location. A wedding dress store could run an ad that's only seen by women within 50 miles of the store who've recently changed their relationship status to "engaged."

If Yahoo is able to make social authority a reality, it could command higher ad rates. There's little doubt that advertisers are interested in getting "word of mouth" publicity, which is seen as far more credible and effective than ordinary advertising. (Source: bbc.co.uk)

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