User Profile Linkage Across Multiple Social Platforms

Technology Overview

Increasingly, individuals are using multiple online social networks (OSNs) such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to meet their communication and relationship needs. The rise of users using multiple OSNs motivates researchers to study the problem of User Identity Linkage (UIL), which aims to link user accounts from different OSNs that belong to the same person. Tackling the UIL problem is imperative to today's social-data-enabled business intelligence. For example, businesses could better profile the consumers if they have a complete view of his or her attributes and behaviours on multiple OSNs. Or they could improve recommendation systems by integrating data of user accounts from different OSNs that belong to the same user to address the cold-start problem, where the system is unable to draw any inferences about which it has not yet gathered sufficient information on.

We offer an algorithmic framework to match user accounts belonging to the same user across multiple online social networks. Given user data from multiple online social networks, our framework employed several state-of-the-art UIL matching algorithms to perform the user accounts matching automatically. Also included in this framework is a visual analytical tool that allows our application users to (a) locate and inspect the linked user accounts, and (b) evaluate and compare results returned by the different UIL matching algorithms.

Technology Features & Specifications

This technology is built upon our in-house data analytics stack, which integrates open-source distributed data systems (such as ElasticSearch), web development frameworks (such HTML5, Javascript, and Django) and open-source data visualization tools (such as D3.js). We also developed our own proprietary data mining and user identity linkage algorithms to automatically perform the online social platform account matching of the user.

Our platform comes with the algorithm and visualizing tool to perform social media analysis, but we do not provide any form of data. Organizations who wish to use our technology will apply our tool on the social media user data that they have obtained through official channels. The social media data obtained by the organization should also be aligned to the data privacy terms of the social media company and data protection laws of the country.

Potential Applications

This technology is applicable in the following industries:

Marketing & Advertising

  • Find and match social platform accounts of potential and existing customers
  • Study potential and existing customers’ lifestyle, interests and relationships across multiple social platforms

Research & Development

  • Perform user profile linkage for cross-social platform studies
  • Evaluate and benchmark new user identity linkage technologies to state-of-the-art solutions

Market Trends and Opportunities

For businesses and R&D organizations which are interested in social media analytics, it has become a key marketing and R&D function, where valuable hidden insights from a vast amount of social media data are gathered and analysed, enabling informed and insightful decision-making. Our invention value-adds to businesses compared to other current social media analytical tools and strategies, by allowing for better profiling of their existing and potential customers across multiple social media platforms.

Customer Benefits

Marketing & Advertising

  • Better profiling of potential and existing customers
  • Improve product and service recommendations to potential and existing customers

Research & Development

  • Enable cross-social platforms studies by performing the preliminary steps in linking user accounts across different social platforms
  • Provide an interactive platform to compare user linkage results at the individual user level

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