Facebook has filed a new patent on 10th of May and published on 15th of November which will make it easy for Facebook to analyse family photos and target ads based on them. The patent is on an algorithm that will understand what’s there in the photographs – faces, pets and other details and cross reference them with available data to develop a family profile. If the patent is granted, there will be transition from targeting individuals to targeting entire family. Its an advanced data mining process where the algorithm will not only see the photos but also gather other information from people’s profile. The algorithm will gather information about the IP addresses (users who are using the same address), tags and descriptions apart from the profile details. By this process, Facebook will be able to understand how many people are in a household, nature of lifestyle and other demographic information.

The patent also has an example of a male Facebook user who regularly posts pictures of two female subjects. They are also present in his tagged pictures. One of the females is a young girl with the caption “my angel”. The algorithm will immediately understand that there are three members in the family, one male and two females, the younger one being his daughter and the other one his wife.

The algorithm will target ads even if the relationship is not mentioned or the other members are not Facebook users.

This move by Facebook has been the ideal for a lot of platforms to target ads to households. Earlier this year, Facebook had stated that it will do more to bring families together. ThePortal home video chat device, which is a giant screen with a start camera, is part of the mission. Facebook had mentioned that it may use data from the device to target ads to families.

Facebook’s patent application only contains photos and not videos and private messages. Also, it is important to note that filing a patent does not necessarily mean that it will use the patent. It is a common practice to leave patents unused for long years.

For now, it is for everyone to wait and see how Facebook relies on your celebration photos to target you with better household deals.

23 aug, 2018


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