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Agile Computing: Article

Top Topic: Behavioral Analytics

Understanding why people visit you and your company and do what they do is massively important

So far, we have we discussed the fact that 2012 is the golden year for apps and how ‘by the end of 2012, app users will start to become app creators,' and well, how that's already happening. Then in my last article, we talked about a theory that we referred to as 3D Internet that follows what we called ‘the deep then wide method.' Basically, mobile devices are taking Google's ‘wide then deep method' of "searching" and flipping it! Everything with names and addresses are turning into apps, and apps really condense information into a valuable format. Little fluff and lots of impact... delivered in less time! Go deep and straight to the source and then go wide to get more valuable content! That's... apps.

Now, let's talk about one of the hottest topics in business right now and that's behavioral analytics.

Why is this a top topic?

Well, it's the reason why Instagram was purchased by Facebook. And it's the reason why other super high-tech and intelligent companies will be taken over by Facebook or another Internet giant.

It's all about data. And more really is better.

You see, by Instagram being one of the hottest app communities out there with a large fan base... it means it's also one of the most intelligent and influential companies because it stores and analyzes a ton of extremely valuable data.... behavioral data.

This is why this is Facebook's largest acquisition deal up to date. According to CNN, Facebook acquired Instagram (with its 13 employees) for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock in April 2012, with plans to keep it independently managed.

Actually, what's crazy is that Forbes reported that just a few days before Facebook acquired Instagram, it was valued at $500 million. This rising valuation of the company was reflective of its fast growing audience, despite being just on the iphone. It had reached nearly 30 million registered users before it launched an Android app.

These 30+ million registered users create the hot topic...

Instagram knows the who, what, where, when, why of every photo of every user.

It acquires a massive amount of information because it's a really awesome app that app users love to use.

As Kevin Systrom, the CEO of Instagram, said in an interview with Forbes, ‘we worked really hard at making it easy for people to share their lives in a beautiful way. It's one thing to share a photo and it's another for that photo to look gorgeous and be something you want to keep forever."

This Vision is what has created 30 million+ Instagram fans.

Instagram fans are fanatic about sharing gorgeous, beautiful, and cool images that showcase their lives.

It's these loyal fans who engage in behaviors... more loyal fans means more extremely valuable behavioral data.

A company... or app... like Instagram that has an existing fan base can capture behavioral data very rapidly.

Since communities like Instagram's are made up of loyal fans, this enables the acquiring of even deeper and more intelligent behavioral data.

Why is behavioral data so important?

Because we can learn from the behaviors of our fans and then optimize monetization and behavior-based actions.

The ability to be able to capture:

  • Which pages fans visit
  • The amount of time they view each page
  • What links they click on
  • Searches they make
  • What they interact with

... this is all hugely valuable to an Internet Giant like Facebook and to advertisers and business people alike!

Taking this behavioral information to create and define audience segments based on visitors that have similar profiles results in increased engagement and monetization of what is identified to be most popular and accessed most frequently.

The reward is that targeted and focused online ads are in front of those visitors who exhibit a great level of interest in the products and services being offered.

Going back to Instagram again... Facebook now has 1,000,000% more behavioral data to access and work with which brings more value for their advertisers, and to generally improve engagement and therefore monetization of the entire social media platform.

More properly targeted ads fetch more consumer interest. More properly targeted ads are a result of the amount and the level of quality of behavioral data that can be acquired.

Increase in behavioral data = More properly targeted ads = Lots of happy advertisers = Many healthy businesses.

To simply further, it's about:

Collecting --> Connecting --> Rewarding

Collect the data... Make the right connections... Experience the rewards.

It's important to not only capture what a person searches... it's important to capture why people do what they do.

Google captures what someone searches... Facebook captures what someone is socially interested.

But why does a user, fan, or visitor click ‘there' but not ‘here' or ‘over there'? Why is a user, fan, or visitor interested in one thing but not a similar thing?

Well, this information can all be harvested... overtime. Again, Instagram will help Facebook determine why users do what they do... where they were when they took a photo giving them insights into why whatever they were taking a photo of in that moment was of value to them.

Instagram and its pre-existing engaged fan based community is really a knowledge base. Facebook and its advertisers can now target new loyal fans that have a higher probability to support and be interested in what is being shown to them.

In conclusion, let's all take into account how important it is to know and understand our fans, visitors, users, and customers. Understanding why people visit you and your company and do what they do is massively important. Go right now... login to your Google Analytics account and see what people are ‘liking'... then create more of that. Split up and match up your fans and users into audience segments and deliver awesome content to them. Go... now! And remember, people don't care about how much you know until they know you care about them and the problems they want to solve...

More Stories By Amish Shah

Amish Shah is the Chief Product Officer at Bitzio, Inc (www.bitzio.com) - a Mobile Apps company. He got into Mobile Apps around October 2010 and never looked back. The Internet scene was just becoming too competitive, so he just went to where it was easier to make money. Bitzio does everything Mobile Apps (from software, to app development, to cross promotions, etc.). Literally EVERYTHING.

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