Social-Media Mavens

Patrick Albano, B.A.'98

Patrick Albano

Tracking Trends in Social Media 

By Claudia Ricci, Ph.D.’96

You wouldn’t expect a former English major to say that analyzing literature in college helped him interpret important trends in social networks and understand why people use Facebook and other social media.

Well, then, meet Patrick Albano, who says one of the most influential teachers he had at UAlbany was Professor of English Jeff Berman. In one class, Berman – whose specialties include literature and psychology – taught Albano how to define clearly and concisely what it was he was trying to say.

That skill comes in handy today in Albano’s role as vice president, head of Advertising Solutions for Yahoo! in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In this position, and for most of his 17-year career, Albano has looked at how advertising is evolving because of social networks.

One of the most important new trends in social media, Albano says, is “native advertising,” in which companies mirror ordinary users in how they present their content. Albano is currently focusing on Tumblr, the social-networking website acquired by Yahoo! in 2013. He also served as co-chair of an industry-wide task force trying to define guidelines for this new type of advertising.

Albano, who previously was vice president of Sales at Citizen Sports, says that businesses are not only using social networks to promote their services, but they can actually build their entire business on social networks like Tumblr or Facebook. That’s just what Citizen Sports did, and under Albano’s direction, Yahoo! acquired the company in 2010. “That’s the next evolution of social marketing.”

Next: Ron Wechsler, B.A.’92