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  • Tanushree Vaish

Social Media Algorithms Making Our Life Easier And Simpler



Introduction

Social media algorithms play a prominent role in our everyday lives, but little have we ever realized how they make our lives simpler and more accessible. Algorithms have transformed our interaction patterns with peers, businesses, and digital strangers. It is pretty evident from the empirical evidence it is difficult to resist the urge to scroll down the feed. While algorithms simplify consumers' lives by reducing information overload, they help businesses capitalize on the digital space by assisting them with numerous 'smart' features.

Be it breaking down the communication barriers or hitting the audience with more relatable content, businesses have undoubtedly benefitted from the algorithms. But, this list of algorithmic benefits has been reiterated innumerable times. With so many digital audiences, a lot of other benefits have been missed. Algorithms were, of course, launched for bettering the consumer experience online. Although it cannot be said that they have achieved their objective, algorithms have succeeded in providing the consumers with a seamless experience with relevant content and smooth interactive mechanisms.

The debate about the pros and cons of social media algorithms is never-ending. While some say that algorithms are a huge obstacle for businesses and marketers, a few others laud them for being that right push to take the content on to the right consumer feed. The debate is a never-ending one and may seem overwhelming with everyone advocating their own point of views. But, one cannot dismiss how beneficial they have become in day-to-day human lives.

What Are Social Media Algorithms?

Algorithms have been here for years now. Still, there is a lot of confusion around these 'intelligent lifeless creatures.' Algorithms are both simple and complex to understand. Social media algorithms are a set of rules or predetermined code that sorts data on the user feed in the way it was dictated. Algorithms use artificial intelligence and machine learning to ensure the data on the user's feed is sorted on the basis of relevance and user interest.

The story sounds perfect so far. But no artificial intelligence is perfect in the world. That is why social media algorithms are subject to constant change on the quest to attain perfection in enhancing consumer experience. It has become a challenge to businesses and marketers to constantly keep up with the algorithmic changes and tweaking their content strategies accordingly is a daunting task.

Social media platforms have not said much on their algorithms and so the best way to test out how the bots favour your content is through the trial and error approach. It is also important to understand that algorithms change across channels as user expectations change as well. For instance, Instagram and Facebook users would expect to see more business to consumer content whereas LinkedIn users might expect more business to business-related content.

How Social Media Algorithms Are Simplifying Human Life?


Social media has altered human life in many aspects. Right from making information readily accessible to recommending job vacancies and new recipes, it has crippled into human life for better changes. Today, a typical human's day starts and ends with social media. The main reason why social media algorithms deserve the praise is its ability to benefit the consumer, the major asset of all social media platforms, in innumerable ways.

Consumer Side


Long gone is the age of passive consumers. Social media is entirely composed of educated, empowered, and active content consumers who are always hungry for information and entertainment. Consumers are the raison d'etre of algorithms. Whether it's making information accessible at the tip of your fingers or entertaining you day in and day out, algorithms are consumer-focused and targeted.

Education

Content consumers used to turn to either TVs or Google for specific information or news. But, social media trends are the new age news-readers for GenZ and modern millennia. Be it India vs Pak live score board through meme news or Dussehra happenings miles away in your home town, social media algorithms are aiming to increase the accessibility and relevancy of news.

Social media was initially perceived as a mere digital socializing platform in the initial days. But, it has evolved into something more over the years. Even international organizations like World Health Organization, UNDP (United Nations Development Program), and Food and Agricultural Organization are choosing social media to educate, raise awareness, and empower the global citizenry.

A typical human has never been so equipped with information and aware about the global and local happenings, all thanks to algorithms for pushing globally relevant and important information on every person's feed. For example, COVID related information has been displayed on every digital citizen's social media feed. All thanks to algorithms!

Entertainment

Long ago, entertainment was synonymous with Television. It has expanded its horizons to include all digital media, including social media platforms. According to statistics, memes are the most consumed content formats of all the content available on the internet. While 38% of social media users regularly follow meme accounts, 55% of users forward them to their peers. The same study quotes that over 74% of users share memes with their peers to make them smile.

Also, every business, account, the user is engaged in memes and video content in one way or the other in this modern entertainment era. Although there are fewer studies and analyses on this subject, empirical evidence suggests that social media algorithms push video and humorous content more as compared to other forms of content. It is because these content forms receive maximum engagement, which proves the hegemony of algorithms and their intellectual deftness to serve humanity relevant content.

Culture

Digital globalization has all good and bad things to say. But, it has played a major role in reducing geographical and cultural barriers. It has helped humanity understand the existing cross-cultural misunderstandings. Social media is also a place of sharing personal experiences for ordinary users. There are still many stereotypical views and misconceptions surrounding different cultures across the world. But, digital globalization brought people together virtually and helped humanity improve their knowledge and awareness about different cultures. This, hence, worked in reducing the hatred and prejudices associated with opposite religions, races, tribes, and cultures.

Although digital hatred is spreading in an unprecedented way in different ways, digitalization is also enhancing human harmony and furthering the purpose of civilization by bringing people across the continents and their emotions together virtually.

Avoids information flooding

There were times when information was found only in books. But, in the current scenario, information and content is as prevalent as oxygen. That makes it an overwhelming situation to distinguish genuine and authentic content from fake or propaganda news. Information overload is one of the perils of booming social media platforms.

But, algorithms optimize everything served on your digital plate. You see what is relevant to you and interests you. Algorithms, thus, help you handle the pressure of information overload efficiently without manual interference.

Creator Side



Creators and businesses are the heart and soul of all social media platforms. Without them, the social space would have been less creative and hustle-bustle. Although the hustle-bustle of the digital space is considered a concern, that is what encourages more and more creative and unique content that keeps the consumers hooked. Algorithms help these creators flex their creative muscles and come up with targeted and personalized content.

Real-time data tracking

Before algorithms evolved, there was no mechanism in place to equip the creators with real-time data about their target audience. For example, social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube keep the creators updated with the number of views, impressions, clicks, and engagement rate. It helps creators and businesses gauge their content performance instantly to hone their next content. It wouldn't have been possible, had it not been for the algorithms.

Targeted marketing

Targeted marketing is the most commonly heard term in recent digital times. But, retrospective contemplation leads us to the conclusion that targeted marketing was not even a choice a decade ago. As there was no data to analyze the target audience, targeted marketing remained a distant dream. But with the 'smart features,' it is easier than ever to study and understand the attitudes of your target audience, which makes targeted marketing a perfect solution in the current digital scenario.

Deep and meaningful insights about the audience

Going back in time again, to understand the performance of a product or to analyze the market behavior, paper studies, surveys, or even door-to-door surveys were the only choices. A decade down the line, algorithms have completely transformed the patterns of data collection.

Most of the data is collected automatically and more frequently with the help of algorithms in contrast to earlier times. It used to take at least half a year to reorganize a marketing plan. But, with real-time data, marketers are coming up with instant solutions.

Manual surveys are limited by certain factors. But, algorithms can be updated to include a new list of items to consider while surveying the target audience. This improves the scope of studies, analysis, and surveys. Also, you don't have to wait all year long to start another round of surveys.

Data aggregation and segregation is incredibly easier. You either choose to collect generalized data or carry out surveys in the most personalized manner. It boils down to your own choice with the help of algorithms. It is a big benefit for businesses as manual resources can be diverted for more immediate causes.

Capture consumer interest and reflect it in their marketing campaigns

Capturing consumer interests was never as simple. Now with the readily available information, consumer moods and interests can be understood instantly. DMs, comments, likes, feedback, reviews, you name it, consumer mindset can be inferred from literally everywhere on the internet.

As long as you are passionate to scale up your business on the pillars of consumer interests, you are surrounded by huge amounts of data that helps you assess the consumer tastes and interests.

Conclusion

Social media has evolved into an indispensable part of the everyday human lifestyle. Keeping aside the cons of algorithmic hegemony on human life, think about all the good things social media algorithms have done to your life. Be it capturing your prettiest moments and sharing them with your dear ones or reaching out to experts in your field for help when you don't have someone in your network, social media algorithms help us in every aspect of life.

Social media algorithms are adding joy, enthusiasm, and extra beauty to our normal life. Because it is always a joy to revisit the already lived moments and experience the joy of peer support at your low times. These are just a few ways in which social media algorithms are benefitting humankind on both ends. With the ever-evolving nature of algorithms, social media will make lives much easier in the times to come.


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