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Facebook wants to analyze your emotions to personalize your news feed!

Can’t help but “like”, “wow” or “love” whenever you see your Facebook friends’ new posts in your News Feed? Well, Facebook is thinking of going even further by analyzing our emotions through the webcam or the camera of our smartphone.

 

 

Good old Mark! The giant Facebook is planning to bring a surprising novelty to say the least. The social network would like to use the webcam or camera of its users’ smartphones to see how they react to posts in their news feed. The idea is to then offer personalized content based on the emotions visible on their faces. Are “emoji” reactions on the way out?

 

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Say “Cheese” to the camera!

In the long list of crazy ideas from Facebook, your facial expression is of great interest to the social network. It was in a 2014 patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that Facebook showed its interest in facial expressions. By simply going through your smartphone’s webcam and/or camera, the social network would analyze your reactions when you check your news feed. Their goal is to improve the content offered on it. Anything that makes you happy and amused is likely to appear more often than content that makes you angry or upset. Eye tracking would also probe your level of attention to the ad. If you look away from videos that are too long, or feature a certain type of product, Facebook will build up its display with other brands or products. Facebook therefore plans to promote content that encourages you to stay connected to the platform for as long as possible.

 

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Nothing is set in stone yet

Following the news, a Facebook spokesperson was quick to tell The Independent, “We often file patents for technology we never launch: they should not be taken as an indication of our future plans.” It is clear, however, that Mark Zuckerberg’s company has an interest in such technology. Facebook often faces controversy when it comes to new features and innovations. Generally speaking, the most prudent thing to do when surfing the web is to hide your microphone and webcam: it is said that Mark Zuckerberg covers them himself. An idea encouraged by the famous whistleblower Edward Snowden, aware of the possibilities of spying through devices equipped with a camera.

 

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Rest assured, the realization of Facebook’s patent is by no means guaranteed, reading our emotions through the camera will remain a simple idea like so many others, and may never see the light of day. As a reminder, Building 8, the company’s research and development laboratory, is working on a technology that would allow people to write messages directly with their brain, without using their hands. That is certainly not going to happen tomorrow.

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