Another hot topic, on the streets and in the sessions, was the role of algorithms and curation in spreading news (especially fake news). Do consumers have content tunnel vision? Content producers now have the ability to hyper-personalize content to very specific audiences, especially in social. With fake news, the problem isn’t necessarily the volume of false stories, but the ability of these stories to go viral, with millions of shares. Personalization powers this virility. To illustrate, many consumers have created ultra-personalized, insular social media communities for themselves, allowing content producers to laser target audiences that are more likely to engage with and share the fake content.

The Downside of Personalization

The big lesson for brands is that content hyper-personalization may sound great, but it can also have disadvantages. If consumers have content tunnel vision, they may only see and share content within the tunnel that they’ve created for themselves. Personalization can slot consumers into one dimension, potentially limiting visibility of new ideas or products.

Brands should use personalization tools to their advantage, but keep in mind that, sometimes, consumers are in the mindset to see something completely different, try something new or be exposed to an experience that’s not in line with their previous behavior or “profile.”