Tech experts claim that some social media companies are using this feedback to tweak the content on the users’ display.
When you swipe on your phone, be it a simple advertisement, a game, a video, or even scrolling through an app or flicking around, you are actually giving away a lot of important details about yourself. And this information is actually being passed on to the website or app that you are using. How? It’s simple, yet complicated! Similar to your online browsing habits that are tracked to display advertisements to you, some social media websites can track how you swipe on your smartphone display and send back important data about your current mood, you’re your personality, and even your physiological state.
ABC news points out that there are some tech experts who claim that some social media companies are using this feedback to tweak the content on the users’ display.
You as a user don’t understand how much of personal information you are actually giving away on your smartphone by simply swiping alone. When you interact with your app on the smartphone, you need to swipe at most places, either to scroll around or alike. Using the way you swipe is enough for the websites to reveal things about you, says Dalton Combs, a neurobiologist. For example, if you are paused on a particular page on the screen, it is enough to tell that you like something there.
ABC also highlights Matt Mayberry, a behavioral designer who works with Combs for an artificial intelligence company called Boundless Mind. The two are AI experts who help companies design apps and websites which use behavioral science in the background to engage consumers efficiently. They say that the data from the swiping habits sent back from the phone reveals information they need about the user. Indirectly, they use the phone to read the user’s mind. Similar to how a human’s behavior changes with regards to speech, breath, posture, etc when he or she is angry, they say that swiping methods can also reveal a lot more.
The way a person swipes across the screen reveals his mood. The tracking module in the app or website captures these unique points and can also tell how a person is holding his or her phone, in real time.
If your social media company is using this data, it is very easy for them to know if you are liking some content on the screen or if you are particularly looking for something. So, for example, if you have paused on a particular content, video or advertisement, the website can track it in real time and target you with similar content or ads to ensure they keep you engaged. It is similar to what YouTube is presently doing. If you have watched a particular video, the website will target your next video to be similar to the first one or will simply recommend you something alike. They do this to ensure that you are engaged and spend more time on the platform.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, told ABC News in a statement, "We want people to find the time they spend on Facebook to be valuable, even if that means they spend less time overall. We're doing more to help people actively connect with others, rather than passively consuming content. That includes prioritizing posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people in News Feed and offering controls that encourage intentional use and help people manage their experience."
The report also goes ahead with more disturbing example where a retail company can track your finger moving towards the close button and instantly pop up a notification on your phone with a discount or something to ensure that you are kept engaged back into the app or website.
The report also states that there are thousands of these engineers who work behind the websites and apps. Their main job is to figure out how they can keep you engaged with the site or app. This is how they make their money.
Source: abc News