Breakthroughs in social media in 2016: fake news, successful AI chatbots

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By Krzysztof Makjowski, Gemius consulting

What changes did 2016 bring to social media? A question which might be worth asking aside is: what is social media, really, and how do we define it in the second half of the 20th century? Is WhatsApp social media? And what about Messages on Apple devices or Google Hangouts? And what’s the story with Slack? After all, social media is a set of solutions which facilitate the exchange of user-generated content. What I am getting at is that it is much more than Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and the like. The picture of the market is becoming more confused with the ever-growing number of solutions.

In my mind, there are a multitude of questions and unknowns associated with the commercial exploitation of information shared by users on the broader spectrum of social media. This is particularly true of the not-new (but ever-increasing) ability to log on to various websites using our Facebook or Google account. On one hand, it is incredibly convenient, but on the other, we are sharing ever more data for commercial exploitation. This is neither good nor bad, but it is worth being aware of.

With this in mind, the list of key events of 2016 in the broader context of social media is:

The event and, as the same time, the failure of the year

In equal measure, Facebook’s problems with errors in the reporting of results, which only goes to show how independent auditing is key; the scandal around Facebook’s promotion of fake news during the US presidential campaign; and Microsoft’s failure with the Tay chatbot.

The success of the year

The first successful attempts, by KLM for example, to introduce chatbots.

Read the source article at gemius.com.