IBM to test people’s psychology through Twitter posts

WASHINGTON: IBM is reportedly testing technology to guess people’s psychological traits by analyzing their Twitter posts, in a bid to deliver more targeted ads and promotional messages.

The company intends to go beyond behavioural analysis like Amazon and use social media to derive information about an individual’s psychological response to ads.

According to Mashable, Michelle Zhou, leader of the User Systems and Experience Research Group at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in California, which developed the software, said that people with different personalities want something different.

The software develops a personality profile based on a person’s most recent few hundred or thousand Twitter updates and then scores the ‘big five’ traits namely, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience.

Zhou said that the software might help companies to tune marketing messages sent by email or social media, or to select the promotional content displayed when a customer logs in to his or her account.

A researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, Andrew Schwartz said that it seems reasonable that personality would be useful for presenting ads that resonate better with the recipient, the report added.

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