Social media has become a mainstream part of our lives. Day in and day out, most of us are using social media to do micro-blogging, interact with family, share photos, capture moments, and have fun. Over the years, social media has changed how we interact with others, how we use our language, and how we see the world. Since social media is so prevalent today, it’s interesting to how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing social media. When was the last time you used social media for fun? What about for business? School? There are so many applications for social media, and AI is changing the way we use it and how we digest the tons of data out there.
Social Media Marketing
I don’t think the marketing world has been more excited about an advertising vehicle than they are with social media marketing. Did you use social media today? Chances are this article triggered you to pick up your phone and check at least one of your feeds. When you scroll through your feeds, how many ads do you get bombarded with? The way I see it, there are two methods of social media marketing: overt and covert. Some ads are overt and obviously placed in your feed to get your attention. AI has allowed those ads to be placed in user feeds based on their user data and browsing habits. AI crunches the data and pulls in ads relevant to the current user. Covert ads are a little sneakier, hence the name. Covert social media marketing is slipped into your feeds via paid influencers or YouTube/Instagram/Twitter mega users with large followings. Again, AI analyzes the data and posts on the internet to bring you the most relevant images and user posts.
Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Bixby… whatever other names are out there. You know what I’m talking about, the virtual assistant living in your phone, car, or smart speaker, always listening and willing to pull up whatever info you need. The need to tweet while driving or search for the highest rated restaurant on Yelp! while biking isn’t necessary—let Siri do it for you. When you want to use Twitter, ask Alexa to tweet and then compose it all with your voice. Social media applications tied into virtual assistants make interacting with your followers much easier. AI constantly allows these virtual assistants to tweet, type, and text via dictation easily and accurately.
Facebook is heavily invested in AI, as evidenced by their facial recognition technology tagging users in a picture automatically via software driven by AI. You can also see this technology in place at Instagram and other photo-driven social media offerings. Using facial recognition makes it easier for any user who wants to tag family or friends with Facebook accounts. Is this important? I don’t think so, but it’s easy to see how AI is shaping the way we interact with social media.
Catching the Latest Trends
AI can bring the latest trends to your social media feed daily, even hourly if you want it to. Twitter is a prime example of how AI is used to crunch large amounts of data and track trends in topics across the world. AI has the ability analyze traffic across the web and present the end user with breaking news, or topics suddenly generating a large spike in internet traffic. In some cases, this can help social media users get the latest news, especially as it pertains to personal safety and things to avoid. In other cases, it simply leads us to more social media usage, as witnessed by meteoric trending recently when a bunch of celebrities started using FaceApp to see how their older selves might look.
What About the Future?
It seems like what we have today is never enough. Every time a new iPhone comes out, you can read hundreds of articles online the next day speculating on the next iPhone design and features. Social media seems to be along the same lines, especially since we use it daily. I believe AI will shape the future of our social media usage by better aligning our recommendations and advertisements. Ads will become much better targeted to a specific user based on AI analysis and machine learning. Apps like LinkedIn, Pinterest, and others will be much more usable thanks to developers using AI to deliver social media content to the user based on their data and usage patterns.