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iCEE.fest 2017. Alex Kahn, social media expert at AlexKhanTV: Facebook can guess your thoughts and manipulates you in order to induce you the emotional state of buying something

Facebook can manipulate the emotional state of its users so that it induces them the state of buying something and then display the commercial showing the exact product that you want, Alex Khan, social media expert declared at iCEE.fest 2017.

He adds that Google knows what you look for on the Internet, but Facebook knows the context, which is much more valuable to companies that want to advertise and increase their sales.

Here are his main statements:

  • technology changes very fast and if we think about social media versus traditional media, in the case of TV, a TV channel competes against another TV channel, whereas in social media, users compete with their mothers for others’ attention. Social media is unique because you can ask questions and people “like” or answer

  • many companies are still doing marketing like in the 2000 or 2010, they need to understand that the public’s attention moved onto the social media. Let’s remember, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone 10 years ago, people take out the smartphone out of their pocket and look on social media.

  • In the 5G era, not everybody needs to do video transmissions because who would listen? Nobody. Most people are viewers. But if you are a company, a brand, you have to find the proper platform. If you have a bad product, no type of marketing will save you on the long-run, but on the contrary, you should do good marketing. You have to see what platform your audience uses, you have to pick one and be consistent, instead of using five different ones and post only once a week.

  • Facebook is the proper environment at the moment, but Facebook does not mean the social network alone, but Instagram and WhatsApp as well, also owned by Facebook. It knows everything about us and knows the context as well.

  • Google knows a lot, it knows what you’re looking for, but Google knows only what you’re looking for on the Internet at that moment, but it does not know the age, how we process everything, who are our friends. It is not a social network. Facebook does not necessarily know what you think, but it can make a very good assumption. Facebook knows who are your friends, what restaurants you go to, what flights you take. Facebook can also estimate how much you earn, and this is very interesting for advertising agencies. For example, real estate agents can target displaying commercials to persons with high income.

  • Companies can also use the database with email addresses of clients, Facebook would find a percentage of those, and they compare which ones are the most similar. It is a grey area regarding private life, companies in the USA do this, while the issue is problematic in Germany. Since companies in Germany are unable to do this, it is a disbalance.

  • Regarding the fake news phenomenon, anyone with a smartphone can now pose as a journalist and reach a certain audience. Many people do such a thing until they actually believe in what they’re doing. Everything that ends up wrong is because people want to do something wrong. If everybody would be kind, we would not have fake news or other issues. It is hard to do predictions for 10 years, I think the issue will be solved. The Internet will reach more and more people, so regulations will be needed.

  • Facebook can manipulate persons. For example, it can show you photos of your friends on holiday and when you see that all your friends go on holiday, you think that perhaps you want to do it as well. Facebook then shows you a commercial and manipulates you into inducing the proper emotional state for buying things.

Daniel Higgson