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Facebook AI turns your 2D pictures into 3D photos – it’s trippy

(MARKETING) Facebook offers a new way for you to market and capture attention, and it might be the move they need to retain younger users.

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Let’s face it, Facebook isn’t cool anymore. It hasn’t been for quite some time. Your aunt posts Minion memes about Mondays on Facebook, and Facebook knows that’s not cool. But their new technology could be their secret weapon to get renewed attention to their platform from all demographics.

Facebook has been in the virtual reality market ever since they bought Oculus in 2014. But while they have lofty goals concerning VR — founder Mark Zuckerburg states Facebook’s long-term goal is to boast over one billion VR users — there just aren’t that many physical headsets in homes yet. In the mean time, Facebook is taking the lessons learned from the virtual 3D space and applying them to your two-dimensional phones screens.

How does Facebook turn a normal image into a 3D photo? Let’s back up a bit first. Imagine your eyes are cameras. Most of you probably have two eyes. When you focus on a thing, both of your eyes are looking at the same thing, but from a slightly different vantage point as each eye is a couple inches from each other. Your brain puts these two images together and creates a three-dimensional picture of your surroundings. That’s why you can “see” in 3D.

iPhone hardware works in a similar manner. Your iPhone 7+ and newer all actually have two cameras on the back instead of one. Those two “eyes” give your iPhone the ability to create photos with depth. This is where Facebook’s new technology comes in.

If the iPhone’s two cameras are the eyes of this metaphor, then Facebook is the brain. Facebook’s proprietary AI software takes the data gathered from the two cameras and “guesses” what else is around. The result is more like a diorama than a photograph, giving users the ability to zoom, pan, and tilt as if they were looking through a window rather than at a photograph.

Facebook is rolling out the technology as we speak, and has included a list of tips and tricks to level up your multi-dimensional photography skills. “You’ll get the best results if your main subject is three or four feet away,” says Facebook in a press release, “and to really make it pop, try to capture scenes with multiple layers of depth, including something in the foreground and something in the background—like a shot of your family standing in a field of flowers.”

These new features will be viewable from your standard news feed, and with added functionality if accessed through Facebook’s headset VR platform, Facebook360.

Whether this turns out to be the Next Big Thing or just another neat tech niche thing, the ability to effortlessly create 3D still lifes out of standard photographs guarantees The Youths will be hanging around Facebook for at least a little while longer. And guarantees you have yet another way to market to capture attention. Neat!

James M Lane, AINS was born into this world without his consent an ornery 60 year old man with a full beard. He has worked in the insurance industry for the last half decade, and was a foreign language preschool teacher for years before that. He writes horror in his spare time. Follow him on Instagram for deliberations on pro wrestling and beards.

Real Estate Marketing

Sentiment analysis has become unreliable, but you can get around that

(MARKETING) Gathering sentiment analysis on your brand is a standard marketing practice, but new studies reveal the data is increasingly unreliable – here’s how to combat this trend.

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Turns out it isn’t just the average Joe who should be worried about misleading information online. Brands should be equally concerned about the accuracy of consumer perception. The basics of sentiment analysis are as old as the pandora’s box of asking for someone’s opinion. However, a study by the Harvard Business Review has shown that online vs. offline consumer reactions should be treated differently.

Sentiment analysis is the computational process of categorizing a person’s attitude towards a product, brand, topic, or campaign as “positive”, “negative”, or “neutral” by digesting their linguistic patterns in their posts and comments.

It’s essentially the uphill battle of turning subjective feelings into actionable or useful data. The problem is finding accurate trends when 60 percent of sentiment analysis studies yield overall “neutral” attitudes. Not all that helpful…

Essentially, online reactions are rooted in extremes. We all have been or have that friend who posts about finding “this amazing product/brand” and must let all passing scrollers know about this new obsession.

Alternatively, some try to perform a civic duty by warning others about a poor experience to save their social media friends from the same grief. Whatever said in that comment or post is likely filled with intense emotion, equivalent to someone running out into the road to yell their feelings to anyone who’ll listen.

Secondly, the spectrum of consumer reactions can be too wide. With the rise of fake accounts and bots, accepting feedback wholesale can lead to too much noise or misleading sentiments. Specificity is key, especially when A.I. and algorithms still have trouble recognizing irony, hyperbole, and humor. (Memes, anyone?) Feedback can be more accurate by targeting phrases such as “will buy” or “won’t buy”. For bigger brands, random, sentiment sampling can also help narrow the focus.

Finally, the sentiment analysis tools should vary. There are a growing number of resources with Hootsuite Insight, Rapidminer, and Social Mention just to name a few. Different tools can help create a better picture of consumer reactions — just follow the trail of hashtags!

The minefield of online interaction hasn’t gotten any safer despite a public awareness for fake news. Context is still a tricky thing. But subjectivity still makes the world go ’round (in my opinion), and we can see the value in feedback even though it may require playing with fire.

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Real Estate Marketing

The psychological reasons that people share online

(MARKETING) Knowing people’s motivations for sharing online is a key component to getting your own content shared.

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I recently saw some family members that I only see once in a great while. Since we don’t know much about each other aside from what we see share online, that quickly became the topic of conversation (“oh, your kid’s are so cute!” “I’m so jealous you went to that concert! How was it?”).

A few of my cousins commented that I seem to leave a “cool life” based on what I post on social media. I explained that I didn’t post about the bulk of my life, which is spent working or sitting on the couch.

It’s no secret that we post the “cool” things in our life on social media to nourish this public perception we’ve all been able to create because of the Worldwide Web. And, as much as we hate to admit it, a lot of us love the instant gratification of likes and comments that come with a post.

Aside from that, there may be some legitimate psychological reasons behind why people post on social media.

First, 94 percent of people say that they share online to better the lives of others. This can be found in posts that are geared to make people laugh, to inform people of events going on in their area, or to teach something new.

Second, as I mentioned before, 68 percent of people post content that they want to reflect their online identity.

If you have an Instagram feed designed to be a “lifestyle influencer,” you may be found posting fashion pictures, pictures of meals, or travel photos.

Third, 80 percent of people want to grow and nourish relationships. This can include posting on a friend’s timeline for their birthday, or sharing an event and inviting people to come.

Fourth, 81 percent stated that they enjoy that aforementioned instant gratification. These individuals like the feeling of having others comment and engage with their posts.

Finally, 84 percent want to spread the word about something that they believe in. This can include sharing online theirreligious posts or posts regarding charity.

There are a variety of reasons to post on social media, some that we’ll admit and some that we won’t. I have a feeling that in the future, there may be a college-level course titled: “The Psychology of Posting on Social Media.”

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Real Estate Marketing

Dark data may be the key to your locked potential

(MARKETING NEWS) The key to a solid marketing campaign could be dark data if anyone can figure out how to actually use it.

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One trend that marketers and entrepreneurs alike are trying to utilize is the mining of dark data from social media. It may sound like something a supervillain in a made-for-TV movie may use to “hack the mainframe,” but it may be the crux of your next marketing strategy.

Research firm Gartner defines dark data as “information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes.”

This data is frequently unstructured, making it difficult to utilize effectively. Structured data is easy to analyze, it populates spreadsheets after a customer enters their information on your website and other clear roads of analysis.

Unstructured data, in contrast, is information that may be collected but its not utilized effectively. Almost 90 percent of unstructured dark data falls through the cracks and is never put to use. One big source of unstructured data is social media posts.

Customers will share insights into your business and brand through their posts about their purchasing habits. This is frequently done through not just through the selfie, but the captions associated with the photo as well.

A picture can tell a lot of information to people (what times of items you sell, their quality, and their overall experience) but the caption can help you understand more what their attitude towards those events are.

A picture may show an attractively plated meal, but the caption may talk about how there was a long wait for the food as well as poor customer service. These captions, and subsequent comments, can offer a keen insight into what people like and dislike about your brand called sentiment analysis.

Sentiment analysis can be utilized to understand attitudes toward your brand, and there’s multiple ways you can go about this. One method of analysis is through the building of word clouds which examine the most used words in a few days of dark data. Pro-marketers can easily pull dark data from those who like or follow a business’ social pages into software which can do the legwork for you.

Small business owners have some options that are less sophisticated but can still do sentiment analysis of dark data effectively.

The IProspect blog suggests to use “a blend of monitoring tools,” many of them free, to complete a sentiment analysis.

A better understanding of dark data means you aren’t limited to just basic social media analysis tools. With these concepts, you too can illuminate your dark data and shine some light on future prospects.

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