Every day, 155M tweets ricochet through Twitter clients and 1.5B  status ripple through Facebook feeds. You can find news updates, travel recommendations, purchasing recommendations, and life advice in this fire hose of data.  Social networks brilliantly extract, record and store data that previously only coursed through people’s minds.

But the challenge of extracting long-term value from this library is unmet. 92% of retweets occur in the first hour – a terrifically short information half-life of 30 minutes. While the tools to create updates and react instantly to updates have been built, we lack the tools to enable users to benefit from the wealth of data days, weeks, or months later.

If I post a picplz photo of the Eiffel Tower with a caption, “the fries from the mid-deck restaurant are some of the best in Paris”, the information is valuable for about an hour, most likely to my friends and followers who may care I am in Paris. But the data contained within the caption, the recommendation of the restaurant, is valuable for far longer – a year or more.

Today, we have blunt tools to resurface this data in search. Tomorrow, it will be different. We will have tools to extract reviews and advice from feeds, structure it, store it and enable better discovery of this content months or years later.

Instead of reviews on Amazon and TripAdvisor, we will use applications to mine tweets, status updates, and blogs to sift through candid assessments that were captured immediately. The challenges of identifying the right people to trust and sifting the wheat from the chaff are hard, but tractable.

Reviews, recommendations and e-commerce will never be the same.


7 thoughts on “Social media’s impact on e-commerce & reviews

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  4. I would go a step further and say marketing and advertising won’t be the same.

    Reviews and recommendations that come in explicit and implicit forms will soon be utilized in abundance for promotional purposes. Scanning for photos from instagram as implicit check-ins enables local marketers to jump into real-time stream or follow up with customers. Making use of tips/tweets from previous visitors helps local advertisers to entice future customers.

  5. Social media is making a clear impact on business: even formerly uncaring big businesses are now trying to gauge public sentiment on Facebook and Twitter and get the best advertising bang for the buck there. The advertising tools around these ecosystems like http://facebook.popularfans.com that help people get Facebook fans are growing fast and is something companies like Google are recognizing because its clear where the trends are and where advertising dollars are going to be flowing more and more.

    • David, I agree. The only question is how much of those dollars and to what extent the impact of those dollars can be measured.

      Many companies are looking for ways to measure Twitter impact. Maybe if we can close the loop with recommendation or ads, like Victor says, measurement will be possible.

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