What’s really interesting here is that this is the first sign of Twitter getting serious about building its own interest graph, as if you’d ever get tired of all this “graph” talk, right? But this is the social network’s first big move that shows it following in the footsteps of Facebook, as the more personal info they collect on your interests and activity on their platform, the more info there is to feed targeted advertising and tweets.
Facebook will continue testing new formats in search of one that sends lots of referral traffic, but to high-quality articles. News reader developers should hold tight, talk to their Facebook reps about how changes are hurting user counts, and hope an optimal version of “recently read articles” emerges soon. But just because there was massive organic referral traffic to be had until now is no guarantee it will return.
The real trick will be in figuring how to connect these disparate graphs to build a single, portable account of who we are and what we’re interested in. Presumably, methods such as OAuth, which enable API-based data sharing among services, will have to play a role. Login once when you get online, and your interest graph is ready to go, ready to make the web a place that serves you rather than a place you must learn to navigate.
If anything ever has a chance at competing with Facebook, it’s not going to be yet another social network mining the same demographic data in the same ways, it’s going to be a network that figures out how to mine new data in new ways – data that defines who people are by their activity, interactions and behavior. It’s going to be the network that figures out the interest graph. And Twitter is off to a good start.
In the battle for the Interest Graph (essentially a graph of what you like) between Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, Facebook has one huge advantage. It has third party content deeply embedded in its platform. Google+ is actually better in many ways for finding and tracking media content, but it has no advanced API and therefore third parties cannot integrate into Google+ like they can on Facebook. And Twitter is too ephemeral. Media sharing is of the moment in Twitter and it’s not properly archived - like on a Timeline.
Social is about friends, while interest is about your interests and the two may or may not intersect. … I see interest-based networks as different from social networks (friends versus interest-focused activities) and I consider interest more easily monetizable and more susceptible to the emergence of innovative new applications.
News, especially in today’s highly social environments, thrives best when it’s small. Personal connections are emotional, and I’d argue that emotions run deeper when connected to a hometown vs. a hobby.
As the world gets bigger we look for ways to make it smaller and feel a connection to the places and people that define us. “Content” can’t do this but “stories” can. Journalism can lead the way forward by focusing inward.
these new features add layers of organization and content curation that weren’t part of the Formspring experience a year ago. The methods of content curation now have more meaning when they’re viewed on top of the interest-centered network the service is building thanks to “Formspring Interests” and “Favorites”.
Our social graphs are basically ”owned” by Facebook, but our interest graphs span many modes of interaction: Twitter, Facebook, email, blogs and discussion forums. Members of a single interest group will likely use all of these tools to connect and communicate with one another, so make sure to clearly identify these sharing paths. Find out where your interest group shares, what they share and with whom – then target and retarget these users with relevant advertising as they pursue interesting content across the Web based on their sharing patterns.
Though we don’t agree with Ben’s definition of the Interest Graph as being a graph of connected people we support his point that the Social Graph shouldn’t be used to address a target market - as it simply doesn’t describe a target market.