Point of view: The socialisation of research

Stan Sthanunanthan
The Coca-Cola Company

Social media has fundamentally changed the way we interact with people. It has redefined sharing, it has touched a very wide cross-section of people. There are at least three ways in which social media will impact the insights industry.

Facebook has over a billion members. More than half of them use it on their mobile device. The numbers are mind-boggling. If Facebook entered the market research business, it would fundamentally change the landscape.

Privacy laws, not to say company objectives, might hold Facebook back from using its fans in market research. Nonetheless, it is a question of time before someone figures out a win-win-win formula for all the stakeholders.

In the interim, let us imagine a situation where a social media provider with a large user base decides to create an opt-in panel for the purpose of conducting research – a service in which those who choose to opt in stand to make some money on the side for taking short surveys besides getting a few other perks. Even if a small percentage of users choose to opt-in, the panel sizes are likely to be significantly bigger than any panel provider has today.