Many marketing experts are touting ads that are targeted to you based on the images you post on social media as the next big thing in advertising.
In her anticipated annual trends report, technology forecaster Mary Meeker noted that just as Google uses Adwords to deliver users ads based on what they type, companies such as Snap are now seeing success with ads based on what images users share.
For instance, if you post images from a beach vacation, you might be targeted with advertisements for bathing suits. If you post photos of your kitchen renovation, you might see ads for new appliances.
As image recognition continues to advance, new apps that utilize your smartphone’s camera will only propel this trend forward, by being able to recognize what you’re looking at and pair you with the most relevant ads, no searching necessary.
In the not-too-distant future, companies clamouring to sell us their wares won’t even need ads — or rather, we won’t notice them, because everything we interact with using our smartphone cameras will be selling us something, and often times, available for purchase with one simple tap or click.
Ads as we know them could soon be a thing of the past — but advertisers could very well end up selling us more stuff than ever.
– from ‘The end of online ads is probably coming, but it’s not what you think’, Ramona Pringle, CBC News, 10 Jun 2017
All part of a steady stream of frighteningly intrusive developments that are occurring under the radar of the vast majority of mobile device users.
There are such massive profits to be made from successful marketing, and there are no financial incentives for any forces of resistance. Thus, given human nature, there is almost no related public debate, and the changes will steamroll ahead.
The best a consumer can do is to remain as mindful as possible of what it is they are consuming. Especially what they are unconsciously consuming. See the challenge?
“Your mind is your temple, keep it beautiful and free. Don’t let an egg get laid in it by something you can’t see.” [Bob Dylan, ‘T.V. Talkin’ Song (1990)]