Facebook Awarded Patent for ‘Identifying Experts and Influencers’

By David Cohen Comment

FacebookIdentifyExpertsInfluencersPatentFacebook was granted a patent for a method of “identifying experts and influencers in a social network and utilizing the identified experts and influencers for advertising, social grouping and other suitable purposes.”

Facebook director of ads engineering Andrew Bosworth and former vice president of global sales Mike Murphy originally applied for the patent March 3, 2011.

The patent’s abstract reads:

On embodiment accesses a set of information comprising one or more elements of information relating to a subject matter, wherein the one or more elements of information have been shared among one or more users of a social-networking system; for each element of information, determines a rate of sharing of the element of information among the one or more users and identifies one or more first users who cause the rate of sharing of the element of information to increase; and identifies one or more influencers associated with the subject matter from the one or more first users identified for each element of information.

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.

Josh Constine of TechCrunch pointed out that the idea behind the patent is for Facebook to monitor sharing of a specific piece of content and then determine which user’s share led to the largest spike, with those users being designated as influencers and the content originators being classified as experts.

According to Constine, the social network’s method does not rely simply on which users have the most likes, focusing instead on which users saw their followers reshare the content.

Readers: What do you think of Facebook’s new patent?

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