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Pick your (social media) poison: know which demographic you’re hitting with each platform

(TECH NEWS) 2017 Social media demographics are out and this is the skim on what you need to know to reach the most people, most effectively.

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Social media currently

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or a typewriter or something, you know that social media isn’t just for teenagers anymore. Tweens, business professionals, and grandparents all use social media (for different reasons, of course), but the networks and platforms they use may differ.

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Social media management platform Tracx recently published a demographic breakdown of all the major social networks – here’s what you need to know to maximize your social media marketing.

The climate

As of January 2017, there are 2.8 BILLION active social media users across the globe. Image the entire population of the world in 1955 tweeting and posting and pinning and liking – that’s the world we’re living in, and usage is still on the rise: 22 percent more people used social media last year than the year before.

Facebook is the favorite
It’s slightly skewed toward female users, and it’s your best bet for reaching millennials and Gen-Xers.

People spend an average of 20 minutes on Facebook a day, compared to only 2.7 daily minutes on Twitter’s mobile app.

More time means more engagement!

YouTube is surpassing TV in a big way
The video-sharing platform is used by more males than females, and reaches more millennials and Gen-Xers than any U.S. cable network. Aaaand it’s launching a TV streaming service, so . . .

Instagram is on its way up
Most of Instagram’s users are female, and 90 percent of ‘grammers are under the age of 35.

Any musicians or music industry professionals in the audience?

Take note: over half of Instagram’s users follow bands.

Tweets are fleeting
Most Twitter users are male, and primarily millennials.

Most significantly, over half of Twitter users aren’t tweeters: they never post a thing.

Even if they’re seeing your brand’s tweets, they aren’t engaging, which means most campaigns just won’t stick.

Pinterest is forever
Pinterest is heavily dominated by female users, but in terms of age, Pinterest is evergreen: its users are pretty evenly split between millennials, Gen-Xers, and Boomers. Want to hang out with your mom and your grandma at the same time? See you on Pinterest!

Another interesting find – when people find a product on Pinterest, they’re 10 percent more likely to purchase it from an ecommerce site than users on other social networks.

That could be because Pinterest is relatively small, with only 317 million unique users each month, compared to Facebook’s colossal 1.9 billion.

Pinterest feels more like a community, and it’s often home to aficionados – design geeks, DIY fanatics, and so on – whose product recommendations are worth taking seriously.

Most importantly, a pin lasts forever (in social media years). The half life of an average pin is 151,200 minutes, compared to 90 minutes for a Facebook post, and 24 minutes for a tweet. That means something you pin today is still relevant about 3.5 months later.

LinkedIn is the ‘business in the front’ part of the social media mullet
The professional and B2B networking site is slightly skewed toward male users, and those who use LinkedIn are slightly less likely, on average, to use other social media platforms.

In addition, nearly half of those who earn $75,000 or more a year make use of LinkedIn, while only about a fifth of those who make $30,000 or less have joined the site.

Reddit is almost anything you want it to be
Reddit is extremely dominated by male users (67/33) and nearly two-thirds of Reddit users are under the age of 30.

If anything, Reddit is a place for PR – NOT marketing.

Sales content is highly discouraged on this user-moderated platform, and redditors take their community seriously.

The deal with demographics

This demographic breakdown holds an important lesson: one size does NOT fit all when it comes to social media marketing.

Demographics change constantly and it is good to know the difference in the platforms.Click To Tweet
Decide exactly whom you want to reach before you decide on how to reach them.

#SocialMediaSmackDown

Staff Writer, Natalie Bradford earned her B.A. in English from Cornell University and spends a lot of time convincing herself not to bake MORE brownies. She enjoys cats, cocktails, and good films - preferably together. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.

Tech News

Airbnb has blocked 50K+ bookings for being too big during COVID-19

(NEWS) Airbnb has cancelled a huge number of reservations as a security precaution during COVID-19 in the past year or so.

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In the last year or so, Airbnb has purposefully prevented at least 50,000 people from making irresponsible reservations on their properties, in many cases blocking those people from the platform itself. This prevention, at least in theory, helped cut down on the number of COVID parties during the pandemic.

According to The Verge, Airbnb’s head of trust and safety communication, Ben Breit, acknowledged blocked reservations in several cities across the United States, including Dallas, San Diego, and New Orleans. Breit confirmed that this response was an attempt to prevent large gatherings and parties during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic during which many areas banned group activities involving more than a few people.

While some requests for reservations were simply denied or “redirected”, many users were blocked from using Airbnb entirely. Airbnb noted that the number of blocked requests outpaced the number of people who were blocked, signifying that some accounts attempted to make more than one reservation before being removed from the platform.
Airbnb reportedly stated that “Instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health” prior to enacting a total ban on rentals at the beginning of 2020, a decision that gave way to the blocks and redirections in the last 12 months.

The evaluation system used to flag problematic reservations is relatively simple, according to Breit: “If you are under the age of 25 and you don’t have a history of positive reviews, we will not allow you to book an entire home listing local to where you live.”

But Airbnb didn’t entirely remove multiple-body listings or large rentals. The Verge reports that flagged users with the aforementioned criteria were still able to book both small rentals in local locations and larger rentals in reasonably distant locations.

Regardless of the optics here, Airbnb’s policy efficacy can’t be ignored. Multiple cities reported comparatively “quiet” holiday seasons–something that may contribute to Airbnb’s decision to extend their policy through the end of this summer.

The hosting company is also offering increased security measures, such as noise detection and a 24-hour hotline, at a discounted rate to property owners.

As both the vaccine gap and the proliferation of the Delta variant of COVID-19 continue to contribute to outbreaks, one can reasonably expect Airbnb to hold to this policy.

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Tech News

TL;DV summarizes video meetings so folks can catch up in quickly *with* context

(TECHNOLOGY) TL;DV makes catching up on video team meetings slightly more tolerable and easily digestable.

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2021 was the year of virtual meetings, and while there are some perks associated with remote collaboration (I’m looking at you, pair of work pants that I didn’t have to wear once this year), these meetings often feel exponentially more arduous than their dressed-up counterparts. TL;DV, a consolidation app for Google Meet, looks to give back a bit of your time.

TL;DV (an acronym for “Too Long; Didn’t View”) is a Google Chrome recording extension that helps users specify important sections of meetings for anyone who needs to view them asynchronously. Users can tag specific segments in Google Meet sessions, transcribe audio, and leave notes above tagged sections for timestamp purposes, and the subsequent file can be shared via a host of both Google and third-party apps.

While the extension is only available for Google Meet at the time of writing, the TL;DV team has included a link to a survey for Zoom and MS Teams users on their site, thus implying that the team is looking into expanding into those platforms in the future.

The mission behind TL;DV is, according to the website, to empower users to “control how we spend our precious time” in the interest of combatting FOMO and meeting fatigue. By dramatically shortening the amount of time one must spend perusing a meeting recording, they seem well on their way to doing so.

Of course, the issue of human oversight remains. It seems likely that meeting facilitators will drop the ball here and there while tagging sections of the recording, and employees who miss crucial information in a recorded session are sure to be frustrated in the process–just not as frustrated as they might be if they attended the entire meeting live.

The current (free) version of TL;DV is in Beta, so users will have a three-hour cap on their videos. The development team promises a professional version by the end of 2021, with the added bonus of leaving prior recordings available for free for anyone who used the Beta. This is certainly an extension to keep an eye on–whether or not you’re remaining remote in 2022, virtual conferencing is no doubt here to stay.

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Tech News

Hiding from facial recognition is a booming business

(TECH NEWS) ‘Cloaking’ is the new way to hide your face. Companies are making big money designing cloaking apps that thwart your features by adding a layer of make up, clothing, blurring, and even transforming you into your favorite celebrity.

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Facial recognition companies and those who seek to thwart them are currently locked in a grand game of cat and mouse. Though it’s been relentlessly pursued by police, politicians, and technocrats alike, the increasing use of facial recognition technology in public spaces, workplaces, and housing complexes remains a widely unpopular phenomenon.

So it’s no surprise that there is big money to be made in the field of “cloaking,” or dodging facial recognition tech – particularly during COVID times while facial coverings are, literally, in fashion.

Take Fawkes, a cloaking app designed by researchers at the University of Chicago. It is named for Guy Fawkes, the 17th century English revolutionary whose likeness was popularized as a symbol of anonymity, and solidarity in V For Vendetta.

Fawkes works by subtly overlaying a celebrity’s facial information over your selfies at the pixel level. To your friends, the changes will go completely unnoticed, but to an artificial intelligence trying to identify your face, you’d theoretically look just like Beyonce.

Fawkes isn’t available to the general public yet, but if you’re looking for strategies to fly under the radar of facial recognition, don’t fret; it is just one example of the ways in which cloaking has entered the mainstream.

Other forms of cloaking have emerged in the forms of Tik Tok makeup trends, clothes that confuse recognition algorithms, tools that automatically blur identifying features on the face, and much more. Since effective facial recognition relies on having as much information about human faces as possible, cloaking enthusiasts like Ben Zhao, Professor of computer science at the University of Chicago and co-developer of Fawkes, hope to make facial recognition less effective against the rest of the population too. In an interview with The New York Times, Zhao asserts, “our [team’s] goal is to make Clearview [AI] go away.”

For the uninitiated, Clearview AI is a start-up that recently became infamous for scraping billions of public photos from the internet and privately using them to build the database for a law enforcement facial recognition tool.

The CEO of Clearview, Hoan Ton-That, claimed that the tool would only be improved by these workarounds and that in long run, cloaking is futile. If that sounds like supervillain talk, you might see why he’s earned himself a reputation similar to the likes of Martin Shkreli or Ajit Pai with his company’s uniquely aggressive approach to data harvesting.

It all feels like the beginning of a cyberpunk western: a story of man vs. machine. The deck is stacked, the rules are undecided, and the world is watching. But so far, you can rest assured that no algorithm has completely outsmarted our own eyeballs… yet.

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