The number of people using social networking sites has risen dramatically from 8% of the population in 2005, to 72% in May 2013!
With more and more people spending an increasing amount of their time on these sites, it’s no wonder that companies are taking advantage of it. The infographic below depicts just how much the social advertising sector has advanced in the recent years. To pick out but a few key dates: In summer 2010, Twitter launched their promoted Tweets and Trends; In Autumn 2011, Facebook launched its Sponsored Stories; In February 2013 Twitter introduced ADS API (Application Programming Interface) and by April 2013, LinkedIn and Tumblr joined their social media rivals by introducing mobile adverts to their platforms.
The advancement in social technologies and the wide spread use of behavioural targeting have meant that the global online advertising spend has also increased dramatically. Social media is still shrouding endless possibilities for marketers, and as more sophisticated technologies are developed, and more algorithms are uncovered, the shift to social advertising will only increase further.
As a society we build on successful events and changes. Social media has arguably taken the biggest leap to targeting adverts to specific individuals, and now companies are building on this, outside of the social arena. For instance, Tesco have proposed the introduction of new Face-Scan technology to target adverts at drivers in their petrol stations. The technology was created by one of Lord Sugar’s digital companies called Amscreen. The screen has a camera inside that can identify the consumer’s gender and approximate age, based on this information the screen will then deliver a suitable advert.
With nearly 3/4 of the population now using social media, it wouldn’t be inconceivable to imagine a time when the use of social media and the advancement of face recognition software unite. The camera could recognise the consumer’s face and match it to their social media profile, then using the wide variety of information available on social media, display an advert that exactly matches the consumer’s needs. For businesses the possibility of this is truly exciting because it would mean that less money is wasted on advertising to the wrong demographic.