Facebook Inc (FB) Patents a Way To Identify ‘Experts and Influencers’

Unlike other tech firms, Facebook has come up with a smart way to identify and target influencers to better monetize ads and users

Facebook knows that differentiating between important and unimportant people is an effective way of selling ads. It wants to make more money by targeting celebrities and has come up with a unique way to do just that.

A clever way from Facebook

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) believes a product that is liked by celebrities and experts will also be liked by others in general. Hence, it only has to convince influencers’ experts and the influencers themselves to like something. However, the most crucial part of the strategy is identifying these important people. Therefore, to make the job easy, Facebook recently patented one of the trickiest ways of doing so.

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The patent known as “Identify experts and influencers in a social network” was filed by Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) ads head Andrew “Boz” Bosworth in 2011 but was granted only this week. The patent “comprises identifying the first users who caused the non-zero rate of sharing of the element of information to locally increase significantly.”

Patents for “influencer marketing” have been received by other tech giants as well such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, but none of them have used such an easy and clever way to identify influencers, says a report from TechCrunch.

How Facebook identify influencers

The social networking company has decided to keep track of the rate content such as a link shared on its site. Then it will track whose posting results in a sudden increase in share rate. The user who first posted the link are called the “experts,” and the ones whose posts increased the share rate will be known as “influencers.”

“This disclosure generally relates to identifying experts and influencers in a social network and utilizing the identified experts and influencers for advertising, social grouping and other suitable purposes,” the patent reads.

The ads will then be targeted by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) toward such people, and the social network will charge businesses a handsome amount to reach “celebrities.” This makes sense because the benefit will accrue to both the company and the businesses. There is no reason for the company to spend the same amount of money for reaching un-influential people as it spends for reaching out to famous, powerful and widely cited people, says TechCrunch.