Visiting Speaker
Ingmar Weber
Research Director for Social Computing, Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI)
Tapping Into the Internet Giants’ Advertising Data for Research
Oct 13, 2017
Download TALK slides
9:30 am
177 Huntington Ave
11th floor
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Though it is usually difficult to obtain data covering all of Facebook’s, LinkedIn’s or Twitter’s users, some aggregate data is provided to advertisers using these platforms. Concretely, all of the internet giants provide advertisers with information on how many of their users match certain criteria. As an example, before an ad is launched and before any cost is incurred, potential advertisers can ask Facebook “how many male Facebook users living in Massachusetts,  aged 30-50 with a PhD are interested in German cuisine?”. This information is intended to be used to estimate the required budget for running a campaign, but it can also be used as a kind of “digital census” for research purposes. In this talk, I’ll present some our work using this kind of data for projects ranging from estimating stocks of migrants around the world, to tracking global internet access gender gaps, to ongoing work on modeling urban crime rates.

about the speaker
Ingmar Weber is the Research Director for Social Computing at the Qatar Computing Research Institute. In his interdisciplinary research, Ingmar addresses research problems of societal relevance by using large amounts of online data to study human behavior at scale. Current topics of interest include (i) tracking demographic changes, (ii) modeling lifestyle diseases, and (iii) understanding political polarization. Ingmar has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and his work is frequently featured in popular press.

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