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How social media Is using our data

Published On : October 4, 2022

Adv. Ajagbe


Social media is the next stop for all sort of communications and interactions in recent times. These media, due to emerging technology can predict our personalities and desires and even gain access to our lifestyle. In recent times, an average human being who is well exposed would have access to at least two platforms where they interact and conduct their daily activities of which their daily experience would include seeing an annoying pop up of ads advertising a product they have discussed with someone the previous day, or an entirely different platform bringing to their feed a product they have earlier searched for on another platform. The big question is how do these platforms get this information and what they use it for.

Now in emerging world of big data, where data trade is lucrative, media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and other bog companies have he ability to collect your information through your searches, likes directly form your device.These platforms allows users to create a media account where they can provide behavioral data and preferences about them through the things they like, post , comment on, and search on their device.

What kind of data is collected

Basically, the data collected on social media can be categorized into Behavioral data, Engagement data, Attitudinal data, personal data, and preference data.

Behavioral data includes patters users take to complete an action that an advertisers want whether when purchasing a product, visiting a website or even sharing a post.These data include subscriptions, purchases, feature usage, shopping behavior (order placement, cart abandonment) etc.

Engagement data are collected and measured based in users Interaction with social media platform, third party sites and so on.The metrics used in measuring such data include website and mobile app interactions( most viewed app, pages and website visits) , social media engagement ( post likes, shares and video views).

Personal data are collected through Informations required to set up accounts, request access and registering for events.They include name, date of birth, job experience, location, address and so on.

Preference data includes how users identifies and support several activities, ideas and contents.These data include political affiliations, Religious beliefs, favorite shows and movies etcetera.

Another technique used by social media to get users data is through cookies. These cookies are trackers that follow you around as you interact on several platforms.These cookie alert pop up on practically every site you visit and once consent is given they gather information on user which is in turn sold for marketing purposes.

Based on information gathered users are categorized into different segments which is then provided to marketers in order to help tailor their advertisement and improve their product offers. It is the only reason why you would look for a shade store on google and find a store that sells shades right on your Facebook feed once you log in on. A company specializing in sport wears production could for example purchase a set of data of people who live an active lifestyle in a particular geographic and demographic area and have been searching for sportswear for the past few weeks in order to market their product. While media platforms like Facebook ,instagram argued that they don’t sell data to marketers they however share demographic info about users in-order to track the performance of their ads.In addition at least 80 percent of users believer these act helps to tailor a seamless experience for them on the platform which means most users allow these companies to drop a cookie on them with the belief that it will help improve their experience.