Monday, 6 February 2017

Algorithms personalise content. Humans are making a comeback on Snapchat. Unexpected, but true.

Personalisation it is a kind of curation for each customer. There is so much 'electronic content' that distributors need to personalise it for each customer (like the Netflix article in The Atlantic which clarifies that their computers have identified no less than 79,000 sub genres).

Now we have the rise of snapchat. It famously does not store the user generated content, so it is completely different to Facebook and Google which save every piece and pixel of content uploaded.

With the rise of Snapchat (where nothing is preserved for algorithms to process) we are seeing a new phenomenon in personalisation.

While Silicon Valley was shunning editing and curation done by humans, and instead relying on computers to spot and disseminate news, Snapchat began hiring producers and reporters to assemble clips into in-depth pieces.

The company calls these Live Stories, and they have been transformative, unlike any other news presentation you can find online.

The diminution of personalization algorithms and virality also plays into how Snapchat treats news. Snapchat’s primary format is called a Story, a slide show of a user’s video clips that are played in chronological order. This, too, is an innovation; before Snapchat, much online content, from blogs to tweets, was consumed in reverse chronological order, from the most recent to the oldest. Snapchat’s Stories, which have since been widely copied, ushered in a more natural order — start at the beginning and go from there.

Now we know that for many, many years Pandora has historically been in the business of hiring warehouses full of of people (music lovers) to mark up music recordings and drive personalisation of the Pandora radio stations. Experts in the monetisation businesses (called VCs and Private Equity) would wonder how Pandora will ever make money if it has to actually pay people to create the massive store of information to drive its playlists. It is correct that Pandora struggled with this expense for many years. 

Royalties have to be paid to the record labels by streaming services, so Pandora paid lower royalties for their radio stations, where customers could not choose exactly what would be played. They simply were presented with radio stations. That kept royalty costs down. Spotify and other services paid higher label royalties to deliver 'on demand' streaming, playing the exact song the customer requested.

The unbelievable value placed on Snapchat is probably a result of the human intervention. Nice story that humans are coming back (at least with snapchat).

No comments:

Post a Comment