This week brought what might be termed "sorta good news": GDP grew faster than expected in the second quarter, albeit at a still fairly pathetic pace, and Facebook's stock price has finally returned to around $38 ($37.43 at the time of writing) -- right back where it started with the social network's IPO in May 2012. Yay?
Well, social media presented a singularly depressing face of humanity to the world today: one video making the rounds shows a bunch of Russian neo-Nazis verbally and physically abusing a gay Russian teenager, culminating in them pouring a bottle of urine on his head -- apparently one in a series of such videos created by Russian neo-Nazi groups. Meanwhile, stateside one Adrienne Martin of St. Louis was arrested after she set a dog on fire and then boasted about it on Facebook.
After generating a lot of buzz a few years ago, I think it's safe to say location-based social media has failed to take off in the sweeping, Facebook-esque way that many investors and innovators predicted: in January of this year, after over three years of operations, FourSquare only had about 30 million users. But that doesn't mean the basic concept itself is flawed: rather, it may simply be a matter of execution.
This week the Denver Broncos became the latest NFL team to unveil a dedicated social hub that brings together all their various social media channels in a single destination for fans. The hub, created in partnership with Wayin, combines a heavily visual, tile-style interface with live video feeds, Twitter streams, Facebook updates, and tie-ins with other social media sites, including Pinterest and Instagram. All social media activity can be tagged to surface on the hub using the hashtag #Broncoscamp.
Have you ever posted something you later feared might get you fired? Not that it's much comfort, but at least you're not alone: it turns out 29% of young workers (ages 18-34) have posted a message, comment, photo, or other content which they were afraid might jeopardize their current job or cost them a future employment opportunity, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults by FindLaw.com.
Pinterest users share more content related to e-commerce than users for any other major social network, beating out Facebook and Twitter, according to a new study conducted by Gigya in the second quarter of this year.
Whatever your views on the "not guilty" verdict rendered by jurors in the Trayvon Martin case last week, there's no denying people on both sides of the issue are deeply engaged ("enraged" would probably work equally well) and that social media has been one of the main venues for protest and debate, not to mention a key source of news for many.
One of social media's many nifty (if unexpected) applications is in the field of epidemiology, where scientists and lay folk can use social platforms to trace the origins and spread of disease. In the latest example of social media epidemiology, Facebook users in Minnesota were able to identify tainted food as the source of a strep throat outbreak.
Marketers and PR types are keenly aware of the damage that can be inflicted on a brand by negative buzz on social media, but now actuaries are getting into the social reputation business as well. This week insurance broker Lockton unveiled a new product, the Lockton Intangible Risk Policy, which offers coverage for "reputational harm" where "the cause of loss is adverse traditional or social media coverage that drives down revenue or sales."
The number of affluent Americans using social media is increasing, according to a survey conducted in the second quarter of this year by Spectrem Group. The proportion of "mass affluent" Americans -- meaning individuals with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million -- who say they use Facebook has increased steadily from 29% in 2010 to 61% this year, while the proportion of "millionaires" (net worth of $1 million to $5 million) increased from 26% to 55%.