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Take it from a teen: This is where we spend our time on social media

(SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS) Attention brands: this teenager hit it on the head where the cool kids are (virtually) hanging out.

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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.

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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.)

Bye, Facebook

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.)

Insta, baby

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.

#FromATeen

Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

Social Media

Twitter branches out into voice chat – what could go wrong?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) We’re learning more about Twitter’s forthcoming audio chat rooms, but what is Twitter learning about moderation?

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Twitter open on a smartphone on table next to a cup of warm brown tea.

Twitter wants you to talk more with more people. Like, actually form words. With your mouth.

In November, the micro-blogging giant announced it’s testing its new Audio Spaces feature, which allows users to create audio-only chat rooms – making it what Wired calls a copycat of the new and buzzy Clubhouse app.

Twitter itself hasn’t released many details, but tech blogger/app-feature detective Jane Manchun Wong has been tweeting some of the deets.

How it works

Here’s what we know about the private beta version, according to Wong: Users create a chat room and can control who is admitted to the group, whether it’s the public, followers, or followees. Group size is currently limited to 10. Members can react with a set set of emojis: “100,” raised hand, fist, peace sign, and waving hand. Spaces conversations are not recorded, but they are transcribed for accessibility. It uses Periscope on the back end.

One thing that’s not clear: The actual name. Twitter’s announcements have been calling it Audio Spaces, but the product’s handle is @TwitterSpaces.

It’s Twitter! What could go wrong?

The big gorilla in the chat room is moderation – as in, how do you keep humans from being terrible on Twitter?

We can all be forgiven for skepticism when it comes to Twitter’s aim to keep Audio Spaces safe(ish). Twitter can be a toxic stew of personal insults and even threats. Interestingly, Twitter is starting its test by inviting users who are often targets: Women and people from marginalized groups. Great idea! Who better to help craft community guidelines?

Requiring platforms to shut down hate speech and violent threats is having a moment, and Clubhouse is already in the controversy mix. Even as invite-only, the app has had some high-profile failures to moderate with threats toward a New York Times reporter and a problem anti-semitic conversation. It seems likely Twitter is paying attention.

Also on the safe(ish) side: The space creator is all powerful and can mute or kick out bad actors. Spaces can also be reported. Then there’s the transcription, which sets Audio Spaces apart from similar apps. Chat transcription was aimed at accessibility but, TechCrunch suggests that might help keep things civil and appropriate if people know their words are being written down. Hmm. Maybe?

Also… Why?

It doesn’t appear that there was a groundswell of demand from users, but Audio Spaces at least is something different from the feature pile-on making the social media big dogs start to look the same, as in Twitter’s also-new Fleets, Instagram’s and Facebook’s Stories, Snapchat’s… Snapchat. (See also Instagram’s Reels, Snapchat’s Spotlight, TikTok’s… TikTok.)

Clubhouse does appear to be hugely popular in Silicon Valley – and it has the investment capital to show it – so maybe there’s something to this audio-only chat thing. But we’ve already seen pandemic-fueled Zoom-happy-hour-fatigue, as users have gotten frustrated with too many people talking at the same time. Video chat can give users at least a few more clues about who is talking and who might be about to talk. Audio-only chat seems like it could quickly devolve into a chaotic cacophony.

But, Twitter says, conversation will flow naturally, and it advises users to “be present.”

“Just like in real life, the magic is in the moment,” it says.

It’s beta testers will surely have a lot to say about “magic” and “moderation.”

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Social Media

Facebook’s latest acquisition dives into backend of social media marketing

(SOCIAL MEDIA) This $1 billion dollar acquisition of a CRM shows Facebook diving into the back end of social media for the first time.

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Woman checking social media on her phone on a balcony overlooking city traffic.

A social media giant is stepping into the Customer Relationship Management Realm.

On November 30, Facebook announced that it had acquired the CRM platform Kustomer for a deal valued at a whopping $1 billion. Founded in 2015, Kustomer boasts to be a customer service focused platform that is made to support high volume transactions. In a statement on the company’s website, Kustomer CEO Brad Birnbaum believes that the platform’s complementary relationship with Facebook will create a mutually beneficial relationship.

“With our complementary capabilities, we will be able to help more people benefit from customer service that is faster, richer and available whenever and however they need it–via phone, email, text, web chat or messaging.” Birnbaum said, “In particular, we look forward to enhancing the messaging experience which is one of the fastest-growing ways for people and businesses to engage.”

The move may seem unusual at first. In the past, Facebook has opted to purchase customer-facing applications and software, instead of back-end applications. Such purchases include Spanish cloud video gaming company PlayGiga in 2019, and popular gif catalog service Giphy this past May. These applications are often used to build out new features for Facebook’s core platform and users.

Considering Facebook makes around 99% of its revenue through advertising, however, the acquisition makes sense. Through Kustomer, Facebook hopes to provide better support to companies wishing to use the social media conglomerate as a channel for attracting customers. By providing end-to-end support for these businesses, Facebook hopes to drive revenue and become a core channel used to sell products and services.

Only time will tell if the investment in a CRM platform can help drive companies to use Facebook as a primary sales channel. Ultimately, the end goal for Facebook is to increase its advertising revenue, and one could expect the organization to integrate Kustomer with popular existing applications like Instagram and Whatsapp.

The acquisition will have to pass a regulatory review, however, before Kustomer can officially become part of the Facebook family. While that is likely to go off without a hitch, Facebook needs to handle some bigger regulation issues before it can take advantage of its new CRM software.

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Social Media

This non-judgmental app can help you switch to a plant-based diet

(SOCIAL MEDIA) There are many reasons people choose plant-based diets. If you’re looking to try it out, this app helps you stay on track.

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No Meat Today, a judgement-free plant-based diet tracking app.

The interest in plant-based proteins continues to grow. Healthline suggests that Americans are shifting toward plant-based meat substitutes because of shortages in the grocery store due to the pandemic, but there are many reasons to make the switch.

Plant-based proteins are considered more sustainable than traditional meat. Nutritionally, plant-based meat alternatives are often healthier. Regardless of the reason, if you’re one of the many Americans who are changing your diet, there’s a new app that can help you stay on track without making you feel judged if or when you do eat meat.

Your companion to eating less meat

No Meat Today is an app available in the App Store. You can get on a waitlist in Google Play. It’s a fun app that asks you, “Did you eat meat today?” You can even define what meat means to you, red meat, fish and seafood, poultry, eggs and/or dairy. As you eat less meat, your “planet” attracts cows. The design is simple, “don’t eat meat, get a cow.” If you eat too much meat, your cows go away. There’s no judgement if you lose a cow.

The creator, Arnaud Joubay says, “I’m not here to tell anyone what they should do, only to offer a friendly app to those who want to do the same.” It’s recommended to look back at your history to decide whether you want to eat meat or not.

Reviews

The app was just released earlier this year. Most of its features are free, but you can pay $4.99 for all the features for one year. There have been some very cute cows released for special days. In the App Store, reviews are positive, but the caveat is that the creator asks you to contact him first if you if your review isn’t 5-stars. It’s a cute app that can motivate you to eat less meat.

Here’s the link to the product page.

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