One of the most significant controversies surrounding social media apps, in general, is that they are spying on us and gathering data.
Lately, there has been speculations that apps are also listening in on our conversations.
If you are a regular Instagram user, you might be wondering if the app collects data about you even while you aren’t browsing your feed.
For more on this topic, keep reading.
Why Do Users Think Instagram Listens To Their Voice Even When They Don’t Use The App?
You might have noticed that sometimes, you’ll be talking about something with someone, and later you’ll see that an ad shows up for that exact product.
Surprisingly enough, you might have found that it also works with people, not only products or items; thus, the person you talked about would soon appear on your feed/suggestions the next time you use Instagram.
Such 'coincidences' have led people to believe that the app is listening to what we say, even when they don't use the app.
However, there are two sides to every coin; the app analyzing us also has a good side.
When Instagram encounters high engagement rates' profile, the app will promote it by featuring it on the Explore and other recommended sections.
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How Do Data Mining Algorithms Work?
First things first, data mining algorithms gather information about the users, such as where they live, how much they earn, and their political views.
How do they do this, you wonder? From 'learning' which content interests us on social media, and by the things we search on Google.
Discovering such personal information enables social media apps to market products suited especially for US.
What Does Instagram Have To Say About This?
According to Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, the app isn’t authorized to listen in on conversations when the app is not in use.
As for the ads that in some miraculous way match what we've just spoken about with our friends, Mosseri stated that we see relevant ads because we’re engaging with similar content and don’t even remember it ourselves.
Indeed, it might seem a bit creepy that Instagram shows us ads about products we've only recently discussed, but since none of us writes down everything we search on the app, we cannot negate the option that Instagram suggested these ads only because we'd searched for such content before, and the data mining algorithms simply do their job.
Whether the app listens to us when we don't use it or not, data mining algorithms still have an enormous amount of information on us all.
However, the 'blame' isn't only with the app;
we 'feed' these algorithms by consuming content on Instagram, thus teaching them what we like to see more.