Lambasting younger generations seems to be an American pastime -- but in the words of The Who (a pioneering British rock band, for our younger readers) "the kids are alright." Indeed, while curmudgeonly types often criticize Millennials as being uninformed and uninterested in the news, they are actually heavily engaged with current events -- and social media plays a key role in how they get their information. That's according to the latest report from the Media Insight Project, a joint effort from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute.
As a new father, I get the impulse to share everything your brilliant, adorable child does. I call it the "proud papa syndrome," and I am prey to it myself. But parents may want to consider throttling back on all this over-sharing -- and not just because the people on the receiving end probably find it deeply annoying. The real danger is that we're creating a digital profile for our kids before they can even say "stop tagging me in photos, dad!" That's the main message of a new study that addresses the phenomenon of "sharenting" on social media.
Last year the social media universe was set all aTwitter by a series of articles from The Guardian U.S., accusing anonymous social media site Whisper of a number of misdeeds -- including tracking the location of users who had opted out of location-tracking, sharing information about users with the Department of Defense, and then hastily rewriting its own terms of service when it learned what The Guardian was reporting. Now, however, The Guardian has issued a lengthy correction and clarification regarding one article and entirely retracted one opinion piece based on the reporting.
Among the many utopian promises attached to social media is the idea that it is democratizing media by enabling more people to create and share content -- but this conventional wisdom may be all wrong, according to a new study that suggests the ease of sharing (especially with the spread of mobile devices) actually discourages people from doing so. This is basically the result of a form of the "tragedy of the commons," in which so many content creators overuse social media that it floods the zone, making it difficult to break through the clutter.
After disrupting -- or at least discomfiting -- the traditional retail industry,the burgeoning online group commerce industry is itself ready for some disruption. At least reports of stagnant revenues and tepid usage trends would seem to suggest that. Industry pioneer Groupon reported its active customer base in North America increased modestly from 20.8 million at the end of 2013 to 24.1 million, while Living Social saw total revenues slip from $302 million in 2013 to $231 million in 2014.
"Fear of missing out," or FOMO, is a major driver of teen spending, according to a new survey of Canadian Millennials by Citizen Relations. The tendency to spend based on friends' social media activity increases with affluence, and covers a range of purchase categories including travel, social events, dining, and products.
There's a new social network for the wolves of Wall Street called "Symphony," created by Goldman Sachs, which has already soft launched the network and plans to officially unveil it in July, according to a report in the "New York Post." Symphony provides a new, secure social conduit for financial types, including chat forums to discuss all their clever ways of making money. It also incorporates instant messaging, Twitter, and internal feeds for companies. The social network was launched by Goldman with support from a consortium of 15 banks.
Twitter is joining forces with data management platform Acxiom to offer advertisers new audience targeting capabilities, the partners announced this week. The agreement will allow advertisers to use behavioral and other types of targeting to reach audience segments provided by Acxiom, as well as segments based on Twitter's own data.
Reports of the demise of organic reach on Facebook may have been somewhat exaggerated, according to a new report from LiveWorld. The catch is that the posts can't be overtly promotional in nature -- but that's actually the key to successful social media marketing anyway, notes LiveWorld chairman and CEO Peter Friedman. LiveWorld reached out to Facebook seeking clarity about the new rules regarding organic reach and learned that there is no sweeping ban against posts from brands. Rather, the ban only concerns obvious marketing messages.
Online security company AVG has developed special glasses that frustrate facial recognition software. The experimental glasses, presented by AVG at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, are equipped with LEDs that emit infrared light, otherwise invisible to ordinary human vision, which makes it impossible for digital cameras connected to facial recognition software to get a lock on your face. They basically provide a Star Trek-style "cloaking device" for your face, at least as far as automated facial recognition goes.