When social media is actually social
Social media has been a household utilization for quite some time now. Though it is used by people of all ages, it is primarily enjoyed by individuals within the teenage group as a lead means of communication.
Many speculate what teens think when operating social media, in terms of what’s cool and what’s churned. But, wouldn’t this hold more validity from the mouth of an actual teen?
A teen in his own words
This is what Andrew Watts set out to accomplish by penning his article “A Teenager’s View on Social Media.” In the article, he gives a brief synopsis of what kids his age think of a given social media platform.
His opinions are based on not only his own social media usage, but what he has observed from friends. And while I was born slightly earlier in the ‘90s than Watts (and may soon begin to lose sight of “what’s cool”), I have to say I agree with what he has to say (and for the sake of this article, will identify with the teenage age group.)
First, he explains that Facebook is “dead” to this generation and is only useful for its group aspect (especially when used for group projects at school). In my travels, I have found this to absolutely be true.
When I was in high school, Facebook was all the rage.
But, the second everyone’s parents started creating accounts, we all ran faster than on a Friday night when the cops busted our keg parties.
And by “we”, I mean my peers… I was never that cool. Anyway, I digress…
So, where is everybody?
Facebook quickly lost its luster and is now a place inundated with only half-true “news” articles. Even though many of us still hold accounts, we are (for the most part) not that active on the timeline.
Where Watts says we are most active is on Instagram.
While we may scroll through Facebook everyday, we are unlikely to post much. But, Instagram is a whole different story. (And, it may be worth noting that as I type this, two teenage-ish girls across from me a Starbucks are discussing a third girl’s Instagram profile.)
People within the age bracket at hand absolutely love acting like amateur photographers and post their favorite memories with the perfect filter. Again, he is right on with this: I find that myself and my friends (both older and younger) identify Instagram as their favorite social media platform.
However, Instagram is not really used as a means for back-and-forth communication.
This is where Snapchat finds ridiculous amounts of popularity.
Not only can you share your favorite memories, but Snapchat gives you an excuse to document anything and everything (while chatting with your friends in the process.)
The Two T’s
Watts also states that, while Twitter is popular, it can sometimes be confusing and is not as actively utilized as a result. He also says that everyone uses Tumblr, but that usage is hush-hush as you generally don’t identify yourself on the blogging site (I’ve always seen it as the social media version of Fight Club.)
Hey, brands, listen up!
So, you’re probably thinking, “Why is this important?” Well, being that teenagers and millennials are the main users of social media, brands should be taking into account where they should be marketing.
Brands have really made a presence on Snapchat by creating their own stories. However, I personally don’t see this as much on Instagram, which is also where the party is at.
Taking into account where these brand influencers are pitching their tent is step one in getting their attention. So, take note from these youngins.
Facebook wants your nudes now to protect you from revenge porn later
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook, attempting to get in front of revenge porn, is requesting that users send in all of their nudes.
In a heroic and totally innovative attempt to combat revenge porn, Facebook has come up with the following solution: “PM US UR NUDEZ.”
No seriously. They want your nudes.
But don’t worry, they’re only going to be viewed by a small group of people for manual confirmation of said nudes, and then stored temporarily… for reasons.
That part gets a little fuzzy. Some sources report that Facebook isn’t actually storing the images, just the links. This is meant to convert the image to a digital footprint, known as a hash, which is supposed to prevent the content from being upload to Facebook again.
Others say Facebook only stores the images for a short period of time and then deletes them.
What we do know, is this is a new program being tested in Australia where Facebook has partnered with a small government agency known as e-Safety and is requesting intimate or nude photos that could potentially be used for revenge porn in an effort to pre-emptively prevent such an incident.
Revenge porn is basically when someone uploads your personal and private photos online without your consent. Rather than address the issue of whether or not it’s such a good idea to take photos on a mobile, hackable device, it’s better to just send a large corporation all your nudes… through their Messenger app. /sarcasm
For your protection.
According to the commissioner of the e-Safety office, Julie Inman Grant, however, they’re using artificial intelligence and photo-matching technologies… and storing the links!
If this isn’t convincing enough, British law firm Mishcon de Reya LLP wrote in a statement to Newsweek, “We would expect that Facebook has absolutely watertight systems to guard the privacy of victims. It is quite counter-intuitive to send such intimate images to an unknown recipient.”
Oh, she wasn’t joking.
I’m not sure how many people still hold onto old intimate photos of themselves, but I am doubtful that it’s enough for this to really be effective as it only prevents intimate photos from being shared on Facebook. At least that’s the plan.
Reactions to this announcement have largely been met with amusement and criticism ranging from commentary on Mark Zuckerberg and Co. being total pervs, and theories of shared Facebook memories: “”Happy Memories: It’s been 1 Year since you uploaded 47 pictures of you in your birthday suit”!
Either way, I can only imagine someone’s inbox is flooded with crotch shots right now, and Zuckerberg has a potential new industry in the works.
Twitter might make a profit for the first time… ever
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter seems to be very popular but it may surprise you to know that this is the very first time they might make a profit.
Twitter reports that after a year of slashing expenses and putting itself in a position to sell data to other companies, it’s expected to be profitable. What’s surprising (considering how #huge Twitter is) is that this the first time that it will be profitable based on “generally accepted accounting principles” – #GAAP!.
In the 11 years since Twitter took to the field, it has never once met this standard, operating at a loss of nearly 2.5 billion dollars since its inception.
Twitter has struggled of a number of reasons, but particularly after going public in 2013 it suffered declining user growth, the rise of the #twittertrolls (coincidentally, Troll’s are discussed in my favorite TIME piece about the internet – located here), and competition from Facebook for the tough realm of advertising.
Since 2013, shares fell steadily, but things have increased thanks to some optimistic changes – the promise to crack down on harassment and abuse, a feed arranged by algorithm instead of time, and Twitter’s most vocal fan of late, President Donald Trump.
For the numbers fans, Reuters provides some input: Twitter’s loss narrowed to about 21 million down from 103 million this year. They have worked to cut a great deal of expenses -16 percent across the board broadly impacting sales, marketing, and R&D.
This kind of focused core improvement (can) help tip the balance sheet on the expenses side – but generating revenues remains a challenge due to slow growth. Twitter hopes to relieve this by working out some deals to sell data – the currency of the 21st century.
Several months ago, TechCrunch made perhaps the most important observation – that despite the fact Twitter has changed the world, changed our marketing, and empowered us to connect with other people, it has remained unprofitable. Many small and large businesses profit from Twitter, but in these 11 years the company hasn’t #sharedinthewealth.
Twitter is touching every realm of business and for American’s, is touching every aspect of their lives given its new form as the preferred medium of the political sphere. Given that, they have much to do to change.
Facebook commands an audience five times the size of Twitter – and their ability to reach success for the future seems #questionable. And how Twitter’s success changes the scape of influence, outreach, and entrepreneurship is something else to be seen.
Is Facebook a potential Slack killer?
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook’s steady ascent from social networking into the business world is giving Slack a run for their money.
When it comes to the business realm, Facebook has steadily been increasing their reputation. Though Facebook is pinned as the social network, they are now proving to everyone that they can dominate in the professional sector as well.
Last year, Facebook launched an ad-free version of the site meant for the office called Workplace. Initially, 1,000 companies were signed on to try out this “Facebook for the office” in its starter phase.
As of last week, Facebook announced that 30,000 organizations currently use Workplace. These aren’t just small time companies. Some of Workplace’s users include Starbucks, Lyft, Spotify, Heineken, Delta and most recently Walmart.
It seems that overnight it grew from another side project to a valid rival for other professional communication tools like Slack.
Slack is the go-to site for business professionals. With over 6 million users and acquiring more every day, Slack is the place for teams to collaborate in real-time. It has virtually replaced email and external software when it comes to internal communication.
Slack has been successful at acquiring small corporations to use their service.
The problem is that Slack has yet to join forces with larger clients that have now turned to other applications. Just last year, Uber left Slack because they could not handle their large-scale communication needs.
In addition to being able to handle the needs of large companies, Facebook also offers cheaper services than Slack. A premium account with Workplace costs $3 per user each month while Slack charges double at $6.67 per user each month.
With the rapid growth and major reputation of Facebook behind it, many predict that Workplace will replace Slack, and other sites like it, in the not so distant future.
Recently, Facebook also launched the Workplace desktop app and plan to include group video chat. The biggest obstacle Workplace faces is the association with Facebook. It is ironic, since it is also their greatest strength.
The truth remains that many people think of Facebook solely as a social media network. Many companies forbid the use of it at work so the transition from the personal to the professional realm is still an uphill battle.
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