Netflix does it: learns from the tastes of millions to custom-produce content that is almost guaranteed to be a hit.
Is that the next big step for social networking companies? Are Twitter and Facebook going to become the new cable networks, the new entertainment companies? After all, what are they going to do with all that data? Sell it to the government?
Big data only matters if you use it. Facebook’s got some really interesting in-house anthropologists and academics combing over the data trying to make sense of it, so we know some interesting work WILL be emerging. I wonder if it’s just a natural next-step for Facebook to turn the data over to content-creators and say, “Meet your audience. Make things they’ll love.”
You could release a PPV MMA fight to a Facebook-only audience.
You could pilot a new show and get fans of a similarly-themed show to pay to view it.
You can craft custom journalism, briefings, reviews, stories geared right to a user’s needs. “I pay $4 a month and Facebook writes content for me. It’s like having your own personal Anderson Cooper/Peter Mansbridge/Stephen Colbert.”