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#10 Social Animals

The Future Human Podcast on February 22, 2012 12:28

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In Social Animals, the Future Human team take a deep dive into the psychology and economics of social networks.

Google revolutionised the advertising world by serving consumers with relevant advertising based on what they were looking for online. Over the last five years, Facebook has manoeuvred itself into a position that might see it offer an even more potent service, in which users perform advertising for a brand without realising it. By turning ‘like’ from a verb into a noun, it has transformed our personal tastes, alliances and communications into clickable marketing opportunities.

Elsewhere, social networks are multiplying to serve ever more niche concerns, and virtual economies of status and reputation are rising to the fore, and being harnessed by enterprising individuals and companies alike.

But exactly how are our desires being commoditised? Can our personal identity, reputation and status really be transacted? And with our lives being played out online and our complex tastes being reduced to thumbs up/thumbs down binaries, are we seeing our personalities changing as a result?

Joining podcast host Jack Roberts to discuss these questions are fellow futurehumanista Ben Beaumont-Thomas; social networking CEO Alex Halliday, who runs the ‘make your own social network’ site SocialGo; and the London Business School’s Xi Zou, who is conducting pioneering research into human behaviour within social networks.

They discuss the commercial opportunities, status anxieties and behavioural patterns that are redefining the rapidly evolving world of interactive social networks.

Find out more about innovation in an age of radical change at
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