As a child, on hot summer afternoons, when you purchased one scoop of vanilla ice cream from your shopkeeper, he would recognise you and give you extra sprinkles, just the way you like it, without charging for it. Did it not make you feel particularly special that your preferences were catered to?
It's no wonder personalisation, in all forms, has always made us happy. Artificial intelligence (AI) and data have been two critical pillars of personalisation. AI technologies enabled businesses to leverage data extensively, charting out individual user journeys and fashioning tailored experiences for each consumer. However, with growing awareness, users were shifting their focus to privacy over personalisation. But their love for personalisation couldn’t completely go away. Now they want both - tailored experiences and solutions, but without having to share their data.
The new social media architecture, or Social 2.0, has changed the narrative with enhanced privacy measures and superior personalisation. Consumers’ data is no longer the currency; their engagement is.
AI for richer experiences
The role of AI has only become more important in Social 2.0. To design personalised experiences, businesses and creators need a granular understanding of user preferences to succeed. Some social media 2.0 platforms are phasing out reliance on the like button and third-party information for content recommendations to achieve this.
In place of conventional metrics, they're adopting more innovative approaches such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), a branch of AI, to collect data on user preferences while safeguarding their privacy. NLP recommends content to users by analysing marketing copy and identifying where a creator is being talked about on a platform. Personalised content is then auto-generated for users and creators, even automating the addition of hashtags and shortened links.
New-age AI also shapes improved social listening and monitoring tools, delivering powerful audience insights for individual and brand creators. The tools can analyse data at scale, filter conversations, and extract relevant information for each creator, empowering them to produce desirable content for users.
These are significant strides considering privacy has been a rising concern. AI is combating damaging aspects of the internet, including identification and moderation of virulent practices. Its capabilities are being deployed to detect false news, obscene messages, malicious users, unethical hackers, hoax accounts, cyberbullying, hate speech and deep fakes.
What’s trending next for AI?
AI in social media is projected to grow from $633 million in 2018 to more than $2.1 billion by 2023.
We’ll see crucial movements in AI and personalisation. These would include content recommendation engines being vital for personalisation. Platforms which rely heavily on User Generated Content (UGC) will invest in significant improvements to their recommendations. The recommendation engine market is poised to reach $12.03 billion by 2025. This figure is up from $1.14 billion in 2018, resulting in a CAGR of 32.39% between 2020 and 2025.
Additionally, brands, creators and users alike will congregate on Social 2.0 platforms which enable personalised experiences without compromising data privacy. Creators, specifically, are transforming social media platforms into content gateways for audiences by aggregating loyal communities and monetising their content while sustaining trust.
There's also an unmet need for excellent and relevant platforms that cater to specific interests, languages, and genres, among others, in India. As Social 2.0 progresses, this need will keep growing. Thus, niche platforms need two essential components – rich content and the right technology (in the form of AI) to deliver better-personalised feeds and attract more creators alongside users.
Tailored content matters now more than ever, with consumers demanding it. This is where AI will play a crucial role, becoming synonymous with personalisation as it empowers brands and creators to produce user-relevant content.
Audiences will also reap the benefits by not paying for services with their personal data but allowing creators to monetise without endangering privacy.
Social media 2.0 powered by AI is here. If brands want to gain a competitive edge on improved digital platforms, now is the time to get on board.
The significance of personalisation in the lives of the consumers is on the rise. Thus, the New-age AI tools will have a huge role to play in driving marketing communication efficiently and accurately to the desired target audience. Additionally, the delivery of tailored content through AI facilitates a social media ecosystem that empowers brands and creators to produce user-relevant content without compromising on privacy.
Ajit Varghese is the Chief Commercial Officer at ShareChat and Moj.