The New York Times recently ran a story (found via Geekwire) on Facebook’s deep trove of personal data that it keeps on people, including its opinion on where you fall on the political spectrum. While I find it amusing that the algorithm believes I’m politically moderate, I am also amazed at the sheer number of things there are profiles for. Under “Hobbies and activities,” for example, it lists “Duck,” “Firefly” (okay, that was a really good series), and “Herding.” Under “Food and drink,” it lists “Cheese sandwich,” “Garlic,” and “Mustard.” Fair enough.
And under “Lifestyle and culture,” it includes “Technology late adopters.” This surprises me. After all, I jumped all over the Insider Preview opportunity to try out Windows 10, I try to keep as up-to-date on technology trends as possible (even keeping tabs on Android developments even though I have no Android devices (I don’t think Amazon’s tablets count, really)). And I bought that danged Venue 8 Pro pretty soon after its release.
Am I Really a Late Adopter?
The more I think about it, though, the more I realize it isn’t that inaccurate. I didn’t really see the utility of text messaging on dumb phones back in the mid-2000s, didn’t understand the appeal of cameras on dumb phones when they first showed up (why would you want to take a 320×240 grainy picture of anything?), and I didn’t get an iPhone until the 5 came out (and only then because my Evo 4G was a piece of junk and I just needed something that would handle Exchange properly). I prefer the “s” iterations of the iPhone, and I don’t own a smart watch, though the Microsoft Band intrigues me. And while I love the idea of a Smart Home with all my lights, A/V devices, and door locks controllable from some central hub, I’m not certain it would really make an appreciable difference.
Advertising to Late Adopters
The other thing that strikes me about having an advertising category for late adopters is the question of what sort of ads get served to that demographic. I imagine early adopter advertising is probably fairly easy: “This is the latest and greatest, and you gotta have it!!” But late adopters probably aren’t motivated by FOMO. So, what does representative advertising for late adopters look like? Something like this:
Thai (I think)-language based home renovation. Something unintelligible to me. Dental services, A chance to win a Starbucks gift card. And an external battery charger. Okay. Sure. I mean, external battery packs are somewhat relevant to the technology category. But everything else..? I expected ads for clearance gadgets, but if Facebook’s metrics show that late adopters respond to those things, I guess that’s working for them.
In any event, I just find the whole thing amusing.