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Pegasystems Buys Indian Social Analytics Company

Pegasystems Buys Indian Social Analytics Company

According to the Boston Business Journal, Cambridge-based Pegasystems has acquired MeshLabs. The thinking was to expand Pegasystems and its means of crawling the web and pulling Twitter data.

My Ideal Twitter Analytics Tool | Pegasystems
My Ideal Twitter Analytics Tool (Photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg)

Pegasystems’ technology could extract tweets mentioning certain companies. But it was unable to filter anything beyond that. Purchasing MeshLabs, enhanced this ability. Now, according to the article, “a social media post can be analyzed to figure out how viral it could go based on the social influence of the user, among other things.”

What Did it Mean?

In the areas of social mention and sentiment analysis, this kind of more granular filtration is key. To simply see where and when a certain phrase has been mentioned online is all well and good. But the absence of context makes such captured data virtually useless.  Let’s say you mention the New York Mets one thousand times in the New York Times in 2014. But that vanity metric does not say much. Are these a lot of mentions? A few? Average, more or less? So who knows?

Then there is the matter of sentiment analysis. Are the mentionings, overall, positive? Or are they negative? Or are they, perhaps, merely neutral?  Why does this all matter? It matters, in part, because we marketing types want to know if the general public loves us. Except when considering whether a post will go viral, strong sentiments seem to have a better chance. These strong sentiments are positive and uplifting, or they are outrage and complaints. Without understanding the emotions within a post (if any), you can’t know if a bit of content will go viral.

This combination of different types of software promises exciting information, in the field of social sentiment analysis. I’d stay tuned, if I were you.

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Facebook Social Media

Snapchat Settles with FTC over Privacy Issues

Snapchat Settles with FTC over Privacy Issues

Snapchat ends up settling with the FTC over privacy issues. The Boston Globe reported this year that the images being passed by the Snapchat app weren’t vanishing without a trace, as advertised.

Catching up with Taylor
Catching up with Taylor (Photo credit: ekai)

The temporal nature of its content proved extremely appealing to younger Internet users, and now it turns out that Snapchat’s content is a lot more durable than anyone wanted it to be.

There were a number of ways that content could be copied, including taking screen shots of the app.

But wait, it gets worse

According to the article, not only was the content kept, but, “ Snapchat transmitted users’ location information and collected sensitive data like address book contacts, despite its saying that it did not collect such information. The commission said the lax policies did not secure a feature called “Find Friends” that allowed security researchers to compile a database of 4.6 million user names and phone numbers during a recent security breach.”

Oops.

Remember This?

It was only 2013 when the company was offered a multi-billion dollar buyout by Facebook. They refused, thinking they could do better.

Double oops.

Going Forward

The FTC isn’t messing around. Per the article, “Snapchat will be prohibited from misrepresenting how it maintains the confidentiality of user information. The company will also be required to start a wide-ranging privacy program, a sort of probation, and will be independently monitored for 20 years. Fines could ensue if the company violates the agreement.”

Yeah, that’s gonna stink for a while.

There are a few morals to this story, I feel.

  1. Don’t be greedy. Facebook’s paying billions of bucks! What were the owners of Snapchat holding out for? Their own country?
  2. Don’t promise stuff you can’t deliver. 
  3. Don’t assume your users are so clueless that they won’t find workarounds. Never underestimate a determined user.
  4. And, for the users, don’t assume your content is private unless you have absolute control over all security and privacy settings. And the best way to have that kind of control is, don’t put your content online if you want it to remain private.
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