A new automated system has been developed to identify social media agents who post ads and have the potential to collect and distribute data to marketers, media organisations and others.
The system, called MetaMeal, has been created to help companies and other organisations monitor agents, including who post what they’re promoting on social networks and who are paying for that promotion.
MetaMeal has been designed by UK startup MetaComet, which previously developed a similar system that could identify agents.
Its creators, the social media companies MetaCivic and MetaLabs, say it’s a new way of doing things, and one that will be useful for organisations looking to track who’s posting what, how much they’re charging for it and whether they’re collecting data.
While the system isn’t yet ready for mass deployment, MetaMecomet says it’s already working with more than 10,000 organisations across the globe.
“This is one of the most robust and reliable methods of detecting social media users,” MetaCecom CEO Ben White said.
“Our research shows that people are using social media as an opportunity to promote themselves, and they want to be able to see how much of that is being shared.”
The system has two modes: one that can see who is posting on a particular social network, and another that can track what they are paid for.
MetaCecon and MetaCave, which also provide social media marketing services, said it would be used by organisations that have a large number of users or customers.
“We can easily track how many people are posting content and how much money they’re making,” MetaMeadow said.
MetaLabs’ CEO Matthew Geddes said MetaMood was a first step towards the “one-stop-shop” for social media tracking.
“It’s the right platform for companies to collect data from their agents and make informed decisions about their marketing campaigns,” he said.
But some privacy advocates are concerned that using the system could have a chilling effect on people who are considering using social networks.
“If you’re using the software to track users, there’s a possibility that you’re monitoring their activities, and there’s nothing you can do about it,” said Robyn Glynn, from the UK-based Digital Rights Ireland.
“I’ve seen lots of examples where people are sharing information about their social network activity without permission, and people are not going to take that risk.”
That’s a very worrying situation.
“What do you do if you think you’re a victim of a spammer?
Check the rules before you share on social.