Social media posts could be analyzed, sold for company profit

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by Craig Cheatham / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on November 7, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 7 at 7:40 PM

 (KMOV) – Twitter’s future depends on the way it can use users and their information to make money.

This means what is posted on Twitter and other social media sites is being analyzed and, in some forms, sold.

When people use Twitter, Facebook and other sites those companies require that people agree to certain conditionsand those conditions allow the companies to get our information and they hope to make money off it.

In Kayak’s Coffee, Micajah Dudley grinds away at another college paper, taking a short break to explain why he’s accepted the risk that goes with sharing information through social media.

“I think it’s about making intelligent choices on what you decide to post and where,” Dudley said.

Sitting next to him, Logan Justice, who just got her Master’s Degree, and is looking for work, but still gets frustrated with ads that target her...based on what she has posted.

“I’m like, how do you know this information on me?” Justice said.

Social media companies use algorithms to search through billions of words and pictures to find information that can be bundles and sold to companies that will use it to sell something to you.

Scott Granneman, an adjunct professor at Washington University teaches courses on social media. He said you can keep other users from seeing your content, but the information is still being seen and shared.

“If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product,” Granneman said.

But, Dudley understands that if he’s going to use these sites, the companies are going to be watching and selling what he puts there.

“At the end of the day there’s really nothing much you can do about it,” Dudley said.

Analysts say now that Twitter is a publicly traded company, you will probably see more embedded videos and other ads that seem to be aimed at you, and that’s by design, like it, or not.

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