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Active social media users are self-segregated and polarized in news consumption.

By making so much information so accessible, social media has drastically changed the way we consume information and form opinions in the modern era. The danger, however, is that social media creates an “echo chamber” that filters the information people receive so that it largely supports their existing opinions.

A recent study published in PNAS examines this phenomenon and finds that social-media users show marked focus in the types of news that interests them. These social-media participants tend to develop strong and well-defined communities around the news outlets they support, and they tend to make connections with like-minded people regardless of the geographic distance between them.

The PNAS study looked at the Facebook activity of a whopping 376 million English-speaking users. Its authors examined how these people interacted with English-speaking news sources on the platform in terms of their consumption of news, as well as their connectivity in terms of sharing, liking, and commenting on news-related items.

The authors found that Facebook users typically interact with a small number of news outlets. Users tend to confine their activity to a limited set of pages. These behaviors allow news consumption on Facebook to be dominated by selective exposure, meaning that people are most often exposed to news sources that reinforce their existing opinions. Though social media critics have been making this claim for a while, the authors’ quantification of this behavior adds strong empirical evidence to the argument.

In terms of this behavior, Facebook users’ interactions with news sources largely depend on their online communities. This is where users tend to gather based on common beliefs and interests. After quantifying the fraction of user activity in the largest communities and a sampling of smaller ones, the authors found that people are significantly more likely to interact with their largest Facebook community.

The authors saw that active Facebook users were more likely to interact with a limited number of news sources. Additionally, the more active a community was, the more self-segregated and polarized it was.

However, the authors did see some different results when they used other definitions for online “community.” One definition included communities that were established by Facebook “page creators,” such as a local church, community center, or school. These types of communities tended to be made up of users who were closely linked geographically. By contrast, when the researchers looked at communities that were defined by users’ activity (such as likes, reactions, and shares), the communities were geographically larger and tended to be international. Though these different definitions of community changed the geographic distribution of users, all of them still trended toward self-segregation and polarization of news consumption.

Google and Facebook are trying automated solutions to prevent the spread of fake news via social media. However, coming up with good solutions will be challenging, because the larger underlying problem is that social media allows users to self-segregate. Existing social-media algorithms feed users news sources that they have previously shown interest in. Over time, this narrows the news sources of Facebook users and tends to expose them to information that reinforces their own perspectives. So they become increasingly polarized.

Since we’ve become so attached to social media, we are less and less required to interact with people who disagree with us. Technology allows us to reach across state lines (and even oceans) to find people who share our beliefs and values. Until social media designers can address the fact that these platforms allow the increasing polarization of users into small, tight-knit communities, stopping the proliferation of misinformation will continue to be a challenge.

Source: This article was published arstechnica.com By ROHEENI SAXENA

Categorized in Social

The average sex life appears to be dwindling - and it may reflect some troubling anxieties at the heart of modern society, says Simon Copland.

We live in one of the most sexually liberated times of human history. Access to new technologies over the past 40 years, whether it is the contraceptive pill, or dating apps such as Grindr and Tinder, have opened a new world of possibilities. As the sexual revolution of the 1970s matured, societal norms shifted with it, with increasing acceptance of homosexuality, divorce, pre-marital sex, and alternative relationships such as polyamory and swinging.

Despite this, research suggests that we’re actually having less sex now than we have for decades.

On average, Americans had sex nine fewer times per year in the early 2010s compared to the late 1990s – a 15% drop

In March, American researchers Jean Twenge, Ryne Sherman and Brooke Wells published an article in the Archives of Sexual Behavior showing that Americans were having sex on average nine fewer times per year in the early 2010s compared to the late 1990s – a 15% drop from 62 times a year to just 53. The declines were similar across gender, race, region, educational level and work status, with married people reporting the most significant drops.

While it could be easy to dismiss this as a one-off, or a symptom of the challenges of researching people’s sex lives, this is another point in a growing trend across the world. In 2013, the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) found that British people between ages 16 and 44 had sex just under five times per month. This was a drop from the previous survey, released in 2000, where men were recorded to have sex 6.2 times a month, and women 6.3 times. In 2014 the Australian National Survey of Sexual Activity showed that people in heterosexual relationships were having sex on average 1.4 times per week, down from 1.8 times 10 years earlier. The situation is perhaps most severe in Japan, where recent data has shown that 46% of women and 25% of men between the ages of 16 and 25 ‘despise’ sexual contact.

Why is this happening?

While there are many simple conclusions available, BBC Future dug deeper and found a situation that is quite complex.

Porn blame

An easy first conclusion to make is that increased access to technology is to blame. Two technologies are usually targeted: online pornography and social media.

With the growth of online pornography, researchers have focused on its addictive potential, with some trying to label ‘internet sex addiction’ as an official psychiatric disorder. As an addiction, it is argued that porn acts as a replacement for real-life sex, limiting our sexual desire in the bedroom.

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Social media and pornography are often blamed for damaging our sex lives - yet the evidence is far from clear cut (Credit: Alamy)

Porn is also blamed for its unrealistic imagery, with researchers arguing this can create symptoms such as ‘sexual anorexia’, or ‘porn induced sexual dysfunction’. In 2011, a survey of 28,000 porn viewers in Italy found that many engaged in an “excessive” consumption of porn sites. The daily use of porn, researcher Carlo Foresta argued, means that these people became inured to “even the most violent” images. According to this theory, these unrealistic images found in porn make it difficult for men in particular to get aroused when encountering the real thing, resulting in them becoming ‘hopeless’ in the bedroom.

Some researchers have even argued there is a link between porn and marriage rates. In a study in 2014, researchers Michael Malcolm and George Naufal surveyed 1,500 participants in the United States to analyse how 18 to 35 year-olds used the internet, and what impact this had on their romantic lives. The results, published in the Eastern Economic Journal, found a strong correlation between high levels of internet use and low marriage rates, a factor that was even more significant for men who viewed online pornography on a regular basis.

And it’s not just pornography. Social media in particular has been blamed as a distraction, with people obsessing over their screens instead of their sexual lives. This is an extension of research that previously suggested having a TV in a couple's bedroom significantly reduces sexual activity. It would make sense that the intrusion of social media devices into all aspects of our lives could have a similar effect. 

But there are good reasons to question both of these conclusions. Researchers are split on the impact of pornography on our sexual lives, with many debating the existence of ‘internet sex addiction’ in the first place. Others have noted the potential for pornography to enhance sexual activity. For example, in 2015 an article in the journal Sexual Medicine found that watching at least 40 minutes of porn at least twice a week boosted people’s libido and desire to have sex. This study tested the libido of 280 men measured against their use of pornography. The research found a strong correlation between the amount of time spent viewing porn and the desire to have sex, with those who watched over two hours of porn per week having the highest levels of arousal. These results were noted as well by Twenge, Sherman and Wells in their research, who, despite finding overall drops in sexual activity, found no difference in sexual activity amongst those who frequently watched pornography.

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Dating apps should make it easier than ever to find a sexual partner - yet millennials appear to be having less sex than previous generations (Credit: Getty Images)

The same can be said for social media. While social devices can certainly provide a distraction they also provide increasing avenues to access ‘sex on tap’. In fact research has shown that apps such as Grindr and Tinder may speed up people's sexual lives, enabling sex on dates earlier and more regularly.

While technology definitely impacts our sexual lives, it cannot be blamed solely for the noted reductions in sexual activity.

Chained to the desk

Despite early dreams of a population liberated from work, our jobs seems to be intruding even further into our lives. Work hours remain extremely high across the Western world, with data recently showing that the average full-time employee in the US works 47 hours per week. It may seem logical to conclude that the fatigue and stress of work may lead to drops in sexual activity.

However it is not quite as simple as that. In 1998 for example Janet Hyde, John DeLamater and Erri Hewitt found in their research, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, that there was no reduction in sexual activity, satisfaction or desire between women who were homemakers and women who were employed either part-time or full-time. Contrary to the rest of their findings, Twenge, Sherman and Wells actually found that a busy work life correlated with higher sexual frequency.

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Life in the fast lane can leave people feeling anxious, exhausted, and depressed - all of which may take a toll on their sex lives (Credit: Alamy)

But that does not mean work does not have an impact; instead, it’s the quality, rather than the quantity, of our work that matters. Having a bad job can be worse for your mental health than having no job, and this extends to our sexual lives as well. Stress in particular is increasingly being seen as the core indicator of drops in sexual activity and sexual happiness.

In 2010, for example, Guy Bodenmenn at the University of Zurich and his research team studied one hundred and three female students in Switzerland across a three month period, finding that higher self-reported stress was associated with lower levels of sexual activity and satisfaction. There are multiple impacts of stress, including changing hormone levels, contributing to negative body image, making us question relationships and partners, and increasing levels of drug and alcohol use. All of these have correlations between drops in sexual activity and sexual drive.

It’s about modern life

There are many other reasons to think that changes in our mental health and wellbeing may be damaging our sex lives. While Twenge, Sherman and Wells discounted both pornography use and work hours as causes behind the drops in sexual activity, the researchers argued the drops may be due to increasing levels of unhappiness. Western societies in particular have seen a mental health epidemic in the past few decades, focused primarily around depression and anxiety disorders.

There is a strong correlation between depressive symptoms and reduction in sexual activity and desire. Conducting a review of relevant studies for the Journal of Sexual Medicine, Evan Atlantis and Thomas Sullivan at the University of Adelaide found significant evidence that depression leads to increases in sexual dysfunction and reductions in sexual desire. Bringing this evidence together with the noted increases mental health issues, Twenge, Sherman and Wells argue there is a causal link between drops in happiness and average drops in sexual activity.

Research connects these mental health epidemics with the increasingly insecure nature of modern life, particularly for younger generations. It is this generation that has shown the highest drops in sexual activity, with research from Jean Twenge showing millennials are reporting having fewer sexual encounters than either Generation X or the baby boomers did at the same age. Job and housing insecurity, the fear of climate change, and the destruction of communal spaces and social life, have all been found to connect to mental health problems. 

A mixture of work, insecurity and technology is leading us all to feel slightly less aroused

Drops in sexual activity could be argued, therefore, to reflect the nature of modern life. This phenomenon cannot be equated with one problem or another, but is in fact the culmination of many things. It is the creation of the stresses of modern life – a mixture of work, insecurity and technology.

Diagnoses of depression and anxiety have continued to rise during the last decade (Credit: Alamy)

Some may celebrate drops in sexual activity as a rejection of loosening sexual mores. But sex is important. It increases happinessmakes you healthier, and even makes you more satisfied at work. Most importantly, for the vast majority of people, sex is fun. 

It is for these reasons that people around the world are trying to find ways to deal with this issue. In February this year Per-Erik Muskos, a councilman from the town of Overtornea in Sweden, introduced a proposal to provide the municipality’s 550 employees a subsidised hour each week to go home and have sex. Muskos talked up the benefits of sex, saying his proposal could “be an opportunity for couples to have their own time, only for each other.”

Japan has been trying to deal with this issue for a long time, particularly over fears of a plummeting birth rate. Parents in Japan are now being provided cash for having children, while for years companies have been encouraged to give citizens more time off work to procreate. This has involved one of the country’s large economic organisations, Keidanren, encouraging its 1,600 corporate members to allow their employees to spend more time with their families. Meanwhile, local authorities have encouraged procreation through a range of measures, including providing shopping vouchers to larger families and launching government-sanctioned matchmaker websites. The Australian government pursued something similar for many years, providing a ‘baby bonus’ to new parents up until 2014.

The problem with these proposals is that they are inevitably just a band-aid. While additional time off work and government incentives may have short-term effects, they do not deal with the structural problems behind the drops in happiness that may be dampening sex drives.

Just as this problem is multi-dimensional, so the solutions must be multi-dimensional as well. Tackling the sexual decline will require dealing with the very causes of the mental health crisis facing Western worlds – a crisis that is underpinned by job and housing insecurity, fears of climate change, and the loss of communal and social spaces. Doing so will not just help people with their sex lives, but benefit health and wellbeing overall. 

Source : This article was published bbc.com By Simon Copland

Categorized in Others

Snapchat Stories kicked off a new trend for listing friends that have viewed your updates / Getty

LinkedIn is probably the most generous social network of them all for online lurkers

Lots of us would love to know which of our friends and connections are secretly looking at our social media updates without engaging with them but, more often than not, networks deliberately make this information either difficult or impossible to access.

Users can openly express interest with likes, comments and retweets, but we’ll always be curious about the unknown. 

Fortunately, there are a number of straightforward ways to dig up telltale “stalking” signs across the biggest social networks, with some providing a little more insight than others.

 

Facebook

The sheer number of dodgy-looking ‘Who Viewed My Profile?’ type apps that are available to download show just how desperate a lot of Facebook users are to identify potential secret admirers. 

While the site doesn’t allow you to find out who’s visited your profile, it keeps track of the friends who’ve checked out your ephemeral Facebook Stories updates, gathering their names in a list that only you can see.

Assuming that your privacy settings allow people to follow you, you can find a complete list of the people who don't want to be your friend but do want to know what you get up to by clicking the Friends tab on your profile and selecting Followers. 

Somewhat unnervingly, Facebook also allows users to create secret lists of friends. As of yet there’s no way to find out if you’re on somebody’s list, but if you are, its creator will get a notification each time you post something.  

Twitter

As a social network built more heavily around news and opinions rather than personal pictures and activities, Twitter-stalking doesn’t appear to be quite as much of a thing.   

There’s still a way to find out more information about who’s viewing your updates, but it’s not particularly precise. 

The microblogging site’s Analytics Dashboard offers up a number of useful insights, including tweet impressions, link clicks, detail expands and the gender, location, age and interests of the people interacting with your posts, but you’re ultimately unlikely to identify a stalker this way.   

Instagram

As is the case with Facebook, it’s Instagram’s Stories feature that gives the game away. It works in a similar manner, to Facebook Stories listing the names of the people who’ve viewed your 24-hour posts.

However, making your account public allows people who don’t follow you to watch your Instagram Stories posts too. Only in their case, you’ll know that they went out of their way to see what you've been getting up to. Just like your friends, their names will be included in a list that only you can see. 

Making your account private will cut off Stories access for non-followers, and you can also hide your Story from people who actually do follow you.

Snapchat

As most people are aware, both Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories are ripped from Snapchat, which has something of a reputation for being one of the raciest social networks.

Snapchat Stories kicked off the trend for displaying all of the friends that have viewed your pictures and videos, but it goes a step further by also notifying you when any of them screenshot your updates. 

LinkedIn

At the opposite end of the spectrum is LinkedIn, but the professional network is arguably the most generous of the bunch for online stalkers. ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ is a core feature, with the site notifying you whenever a fellow user visits your page, and vice versa.

However, you can't view the names of members who've chosen to visit your profile in private mode, even if you’ve paid for a Premium account.

You can try to turn the tables on your stalkers – without coughing up for advanced features – by selecting Anonymous LinkedIn Member under Profile Viewing Options in the privacy menu, though this also hides the identity of every single person who visits your profile.

Source : This article was published independent.co.uk By AATIF SULLEYMAN

Categorized in Social

April was a relatively mellow month in the social media world. Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube were the only networks that rolled out new updates.

Nevertheless, there were a few SEJ articles this month geared toward helping marketers make the most of their social media strategies.

For example, which brands are successfully tapping into the desires and needs of their target audience on social media? This post compiles 10 outstanding examples of social media campaigns you need to see.

Another post provides 10 Tips to Increase Sales on Instagram. The biggest reason to use Instagram for business? The Instagram engagement rate beats not only the other social media channels but also nearly every other traffic source.

Just over a year ago, Facebook released Reactions. Five new emojis joined the venerable Like button — Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry — with the aim of giving users a little more freedom to express their emotional responses to posts. This post covers practical tips to help you get the most out of Reactions and increase brand affinity.

How are businesses using social listening today? To find out, research firm Clutch recently surveyed 300 marketers. Respondents all used social media monitoring tools for their jobs at medium and large B2B and B2C U.S. companies. Here are six ways social media listening benefits businesses today.

Finally, here are the exciting social media updates you may have missed in April.

Facebook

Facebook is testing its related articles feature to help users discover more stories about trending topics. Heading forward, Facebook will show you related stories before you click on an article.

Better video metrics are critical for marketers and businesses on Facebook, especially considering users are now watching more than 100 million hours of video every day. Here are the five changes to Facebook video metrics that marketers need to know.

  1. New: Aggregate Minutes Viewed
  2. New: Video Metric Benchmarks
  3. Change: Aggregate Video Views
  4. Update: Date Range Analysis
  5. New: Sorting Options

People who read your Facebook Instant Articles will now be able to Like your page or sign up for your email newsletter from within your article. That’s because Facebook announced it has given all publishers access to two new call-to-action units: an Email Signup CTA and a Page Like CTA.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn launched Matched Audiences, which gives advertisers three new targeting tools: website retargeting, account targeting, and contact targeting. Matched Audiences is now available for all of LinkedIn’s ad formats. This brings LinkedIn more in line with what Facebook (custom audiences) and Twitter (tailored audiences) have offered to advertisers for years.

LinkedIn also launched Lead Gen Forms. This new feature in Sponsored Content campaigns removes a huge barrier on mobile devices: filling out forms. LinkedIn hopes conversation rates on mobile devices will rise with the new forms.

YouTube

YouTube significantly reduced the threshold that must be met for users to initiate live streams from their YouTube channels. When YouTube live streaming was first introduced back in February, channels had to have at least 10,000 subscribers to initiate a live stream. Now that threshold has been reduced to 1,000 subscribers.

Google is ramping up its efforts to ensure ads do not appear alongside questionable YouTube videos. Its latest measure involves blocking ads from appearing on channels with less than 10,000 total views.

This article was published in searchenginejournal By Debbie Miller

Categorized in Social

Each social network is unique in its own way. How you interact and with whom you interact on a daily basis can have a great influence on how recruiters may view you. Using social media is a great way to get visibility. It also shows how you value your reputation professionally. There are numerous ways in which you can use social media to your advantage.

Get your complete profile out

Image credit: Shutterstock

While filling out your profile, ensure that it is completed. Recruitment managers cannot go hunting for the missing bit of information that you haven’t filled up. A complete and relevant profile portrays a systematic and organised person.

Do not scatter your presence everywhere

Image credit: Shutterstock

Being active on social media platforms gives your clients and prospective employers a chance to ensure that you are an actual human with a life. But that doesn’t mean you have to go out and make your presence felt everywhere. The point is to recognise which platforms are good for your field and go ahead and manage them well. Perhaps if you are more creative, Instagram, and not LinkedIn, would work better for you.

Review your personal information

It’s good to share your basic personal information across social media accounts so that potential employers also know about your background. However, do not go overboard and share unrequired information. It might prove to be harmful in the long run. A lot of people have been prone to hacking and abuse because of this.

Showcase your work

You could use social media as a portfolio for your work. Showcase your past work and accomplishments. It is a way to stand out in this age where competition is massive.

Get maximum information about hiring managers

Image credit: Shutterstock

Before applying for a job, look up the HR manager on LinkedIn. Based on that, you can craft your resume and covering letter. And in case you get called, you will also know how to tackle questions to a certain extent.

Google yourself

Do a thorough research on what comes up first when anyone Googles you. You would want relevant and useful information about yourself to be out there on the web. Make sure that you clean out everything and update your LinkedIn profile as well.

Get people to know you are searching

Let your friends and followers on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter get to know that you’re searching for a job and also the kind of job that you are looking for. You never know when a certain company looks for the exact skills that you may be having. You may also come across these through word-of-mouth or referrals.

Use posts and tweets to show your passion

If you are passionate about certain subjects and constantly write or discuss about it, then share updates, posts, and tweets about them. Sharing links and articles will demonstrate your expertise. In case you have attended relevant events related to them, then post useful content and learnings you got from them as well.

Review long term career paths

Image credit: Shutterstock

Check social media to research about various profiles and the associated career paths. It also helps in knowing about the other employees in a company and their backgrounds.

Clean up everything before you start

Cleaning up doesn’t mean removing pictures of you partying or holidaying. It means checking for anything even mildly controversial that you have commented or shared.  Although it’s fine to be opinionated, you may be unnecessarily judged for no fault of yours, which may affect your chances of fetching a job you like.

Use Twitter to gain insights about your industry

Twitter chats are a great way to build contacts and network. Twitter chats usually take place at the same time every week and are hash-tagged.  They bring like-minded people together.  They also provide an opportunity for everyone to ask relevant questions and listen to everyone’s perspective.

Show how you use social media

Learn to display how you use social media usefully. You could use social media tools to promote yourself effectively. These tools may also help the company you plan on working with. It also shows how resourceful and insightful you are. So go out there and let them know your worth.

Use job search apps

These days, more and more job seekers use mobile apps to search for jobs. There are several useful applications that can enhance your search and make it easier for you, including apps to organise your job search process and provide faster responses. Here are a few:

Pocket resume

This app lets you make a professional resume using your iPhone, and is ideal if you’re running out of time and need to send out resumes quickly.

LinkedIn Mobile

The LinkedIn Mobile app can be accessed through the Blackberry OS, iPhone OS, Android, or Windows. You can easily view the company’s info or the interviewer’s page on this app.

Linkup

Job seekers can access the website directly and search for jobs using keywords, company, and location. The highlight is that you can go right away to the source using this app.

BeKnown

Launched by Monster.com and Monster Worldwide Inc., BeKnown works you’re your Facebook timeline to allow people to avoid mixing business and other activities. It allows job seekers to establish their own career identity.

Check your grammar

Ensure that you have used good language. Remove public posts where you have used too much slang. Spelling, language, and grammar are things that cannot be neglected.

Common connections may help

Although you may not know everyone on Facebook or LinkedIn, you could use your contacts and connections to get in touch with anyone in the same field as yours. Some of your friends or acquaintances will be able to connect you to other people who may have already worked in a company that has an interview scheduled with you.

Writing content

If you are good at writing and have lots of articles to your credit, then it would be a good idea to post your long articles on social media platforms and see what kind of audience they attract. Certain websites already have a set audience for various topics. If those areas match your interest as well, then you may get a good follower base. You may also develop a blog that you can share. Who knows? It might also prove to be helpful in your new job.

Be who you claim to be

A lot of people write descriptions about themselves in resumes and turn out to be nothing like it on social media. Most of the recruiters look up potential employees on social media to understand their background. Make sure there is consistency across all the social media platforms that you have made your presence on.

Seek job experts

You might come across several experts in your field, or the content and posts that you share may attract many professionals. Either way, you can benefit from this. It can open an array of opportunities for you.

Follow up on trends

Image credit: Shutterstock

Reading up about a particular industry and following up on trends will give you insights about the companies you wish to apply to. It will also help in interviews and group discussions.

Project professionalism

Click a professional photograph wearing appropriate clothes to showcase yourself and gain attention of your recruiters. Pay attention to the minute details in the background, if there are any inappropriate texts or visuals, etc. You may not realise it, but recruiters many a time use information outside your professional network to see how systematic you are while you aren’t working.

Highlight your interests

Everyone likes people with versatile interests. Make sure you mention these qualities in your resume and also in your social media updates. Showing how you enjoy your free time will also demonstrate how flexible and adaptive you are. It is always good to know people who have a life apart from work. It helps in team building and recreational activities spent during your break time.

Keep up your search daily

Join relevant groups across various platforms and ensure that you check them daily. Check where the companies post updates first regarding their openings.

Follow up with any relevant contacts

After attending a conference or event, take pictures, connect with people, and follow up with them. You could connect on Facebook or LinkedIn and later on see how you could collaborate.

If you haven’t used social media for networking, branding and growth yet, then it’s time to use these useful tips to make social media work for you today!


Entrepreneurs and IT enthusiasts in Bengaluru! Here's your chance to speak to Priyank Kharge, Karnataka’s Minister for IT, BT and ask him the questions  you want about everything his ministry is doing - and should be doing - to improve things for the startup ecosystem. Limited seats available, so book your seats by applying for a slot today. Register here now!

Source : yourstory.com

Categorized in Others
WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU

Spaces sheds light on Facebook's vision of the future of social media, which involves interacting with your friends in a virtual environment.

Facebook unveiled its new Spaces virtual reality platform at the F8 conference in San Jose, California, on Tuesday. The project aims to take the social experience one step further, providing Facebook users with virtual environments where they can interact with their friends.

Inside Spaces, users are represented by an avatar, which can be customized. You can even choose a photograph of yourself that you like, and Facebook will pick an option that resembles you.

The experience is built around interacting with up to three friends, but there’s more to do than simply talk to one another and gawp at each other’s avatars. Users will be able to share 360-degree video content, draw with virtual markers, and, inevitably, take selfies.

Facebook users who haven’t invested in a VR headset aren’t going to be left out of Spaces entirely. You can receive a standard video call from a group of users taking part in a Spaces session, and get a window into their virtual world, avatars and all.

Spaces demonstrates why Facebook purchased Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. While much of the VR content that’s hit the scene has been akin to traditional video games, it’s clear that the social media giant sees the technology’s potential to underpin a different kind of social media.

What’s unclear is whether users will latch onto what Spaces has to offer. The footage shown at the event made it look like an amusing diversion — but not the kind of thing that warrants spending upwards of $1,000 on a compatible headset and a sufficiently powerful PC.

Anyone with an Oculus Rift headset and an Oculus Touch controller can now try out the experience. The beta version of the app is available now from the Oculus Store for free. More information, including recommended specs, is available via the Oculus website.

Source : digitaltrends.com

Categorized in Social
Social networks now rival search engines as an effective online marketing and advertising channel, gaining a significant market share and raking in huge revenues in Việt Nam and elsewhere.— Photo vietnamnet.vn

HÀ NỘI — Social networks now rival search engines as an effective online marketing and advertising channel, gaining a significant market share and raking in huge revenues in Việt Nam and elsewhere.

A report on domestic eBusiness Index prepared by the Vietnam Ecommerce Association (VECOM), says that in 2016, 34 per cent of domestic businesses advertised on social media, six per cent higher than in 2015.

In fact, social media has surpassed search engines to become the most favoured online means of advertisement, employed by 47 per cent of total domestic businesses, with search engines coming in second at 41 per cent, the report says.

Because it is economical and effective, social network marketing has been growing at a rapid pace with both large corporations, small and medium enterprises and individual sellers using it to good effect.

Trần Trọng Tuyến, VECOM General Secretary, said that around 70 per cent of individual retailers in Việt Nam run their own advertisements on their Facebook page instead of relying on tools such as Google Adwords. It is estimated that this segment saw revenue growth of around 10 per cent in 2016.

Social media advertisement is now seen as a reliable and effective tool, with about 46 per cent of businesses reporting to have successfully reached their desired demographic, compared to the 44 per cent on search engines in Việt Nam.

“The online marketing field has immense potential for growth, without relying on one particular channel,” said Tuyến.

Presently, 38 per cent of domestic firms use their own website as their main sales platform while 34 per cent rely on social networks.

Experts estimate that in 2017, Vietnamese businesses will spend around US$1.5 billion on advertising, 16 per cent of which will go to online marketing channels.

“With more than 47 million Internet users and more than 29 million smartphone users, Việt Nam is among the countries with the largest online connections in the region. So online marketing through social networks is an inevitable trend, led by global technological developments,” said Đặng Tiền Phương, Ford Vietnam’s Head of Marketing.

Yet, in this fast growing market of online advertising, only a handful of Vietnamese marketing firms have managed to gain a foothold.

At present, household names like Facebook and Google dominate the online marketing scene in Việt Nam, with the majority of advertising fees paid by domestic firms flowing to these companies despite several recent controversies.

The report also mentions several downsides to the emerging trend.

The State Bank of Viet Nam is working with the Ministry of Finance and General Department of Taxation on stopping tax fraud and illegal transactions via social media, to help the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) manage this lucrative sales medium, said Lê Quang Tự Do, Deputy Head of the MIC.

In the domestic advertising market, social networks and search engines are followed by email at 36 per cent, online newspapers at 34 per cent, and printed newspapers at 20 per cent. Television lags far behind at around 10 to 13 per cent. — VNS

Source : vietnamnews.vn

When you search "Facebook Live" on Google today, these are the most popular results you'll see:

Not "Facebook Live tips and tricks." Not "Facebook live funniest videos." All the most popular searches for Facebook Live revolve around murders, torture, and death. This is probably not what Facebook had in mind when it introduced Facebook Live to the public last April.

With the exception of the "Chewbacca Mom" video, Facebook Live only seems to get in the news cycle when a horrific incident occurs on the platform. Some examples:

These are just a handful of the dozens of examples you'll find online.

Facebook Live is currently in the news because, according to Cleveland police, an Ohio resident named Steve Stephens killed an elderly man on Facebook Live on Sunday and claimed to have killed more than a dozen other people in the same broadcast. State and local police are still searching for Stephens, with authorities and Cleveland Mayor Frank Johnson asking the man to turn himself in.

Now, it's important to note that live-streaming video platforms on the internet are a relatively new medium. And as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and others continue investing in live video, it's unclear what, if anything, should be done when these incidents occur — from hiding these videos from web search, to preventing these gruesome and sad tragedies from being broadcast live in the first place. The fact is, even if Facebook is quick to take down these offending videos, it doesn't take much for these incidents to become news stories, which in turn leads people to search for the original videos through Google and other search engines. So as live video becomes more of a thing, hopefully we'll see Facebook and others make efforts to address this complex and sensitive issue.

Source : uk.businessinsider.com

 

Categorized in Social

We use social media to stay in touch without the burden of having to send huge number of individual messages.

The average Brit spends one hour and 41 minutes a day browsing social media, which is about a third of all the time that we spend online.

If it is an addiction, it’s an efficient one – social media lets us communicate on the go. And thanks to BT’s role in doubling UK broadband speeds over the past three years, social media is a quick and convenient form of communication, too.

Each year, the average person sends more than 6,000 WhatsApp messages and nearly 11,200 picture messages. Evidently, we love to communicate using social media and through our phones, so it’s important we take care and stay safe online.

If it is an addiction, it’s an efficient one – social media lets us communicate on the go

Parents, grandparents, guardians – if you’re worried about the impact of social media on your children, then use BT Parental Controls to make sure you control what type of sites they can access. The controls can be customised for different users and different times of day, with filters available for all manner of websites, from dating to fashion to media streaming.

Here are some guidelines for negotiating social media without compromising your security or online identity:

Be selective when saying yes to friend requests. Unless you recognise the name, there is no reason why you should say yes. Writer Chloe says: “I always get people trying to add me to ask about tips to get into my industry. I made a clear line that Facebook is for friends, and Twitter for work.”

Be conscious of known Wi-Fi networks and don’t automatically connect to them. Darran Rolls, CTO, SailPoint, says: “Bad guys now put out their own public Wi-Fi hotspots specifically to catch the unaware.” Luckily, BT has more than five million free Wi-Fi hotspots across the country in which you can trust.

It sounds obvious, but manage your privacy settings. Did you know, for example, that Instagram owns all rights to photos posted on the social media network? Be careful and only share what you’re happy for other people to see. The best advice is to only share information with friends – make sure your privacy settings are ticked to share with friends and family only, otherwise anyone could view your pictures.

Social media page
Be selective: only share what you're happy for others to see CREDIT: GETTY

Identity theft isn’t unheard of so don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. There have been well-documented cases – like the story of Leah Palmer – where whole social media profiles have been lifted and lives lived through the lens of somebody else’s existence.

You can make it a lot more difficult for potential hackers by setting your profile to private and changing your password every few months.

If you’re worried your details might have been leaked in a hack, Matt Powell, editor at Broadband Genie, suggests regularly checking haveibeenpwnd.com to see if your information is listed.

It’s also important to bear in mind that some people make their career from hacking, so stay alert. “Cybercriminals have something we don’t have – they have time. They will spend hours trawling social media sites to find out personal information and use this to send you a very believable email citing information – perhaps about your children or a recent purchase – trying to encourage you to click on a hostile link. Think very carefully about emails which just don’t look or feel ‘right’ – question everything,” says Andy Taylor, lead assessor at APMG.

In a similar vein, keep certain personal information off social media, such as your address, pet’s name, family names, and exact date of birth. Stephen Trenery, digital marketing manager at Majenta Solutions, explains: “This kind of information can be used as security questions to get access to your other accounts, emails and your bank accounts.”

Never share payment information. The main social media sites – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat – are free, and will never ask for your personal payment information. The only social media account that costs money is LinkedIn Premium, and this is a legitimate enterprise.

Make sure your privacy settings are ticked to share with friends and family only, otherwise anyone could view your pictures

Take care of what you photograph. You may never decide to post your full address or credit card details as your social media status, but did you know that the pictures you’re sharing could lead to your identity being stolen? Post a picture of your boarding pass on the way to skiing holiday, and a fraudster could type in your surname and flight number to find out personal details. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Be careful when clicking on links. Even if they’re links shared by friends, you never know for sure what will pop up on the other side. The worst culprits are clickbait links – the ones that suggest weight loss tips and the like – and any link purporting to want to give you free money.

Brian Kinch, senior partner and fraud expert at FICO, says: “If [a link] appears, it may have come from a legitimate source. Reach out to the sender directly through a different, trusted channel to see if they have indeed sent it. You wouldn’t open a mystery package through the post with ‘OPEN ME’ emblazoned all over it – be as cautious online.”

Check your financial statements really carefully. “Bank statements should be checked regularly and any anomalies should be investigated and raised with the bank as soon as possible. As with all sensitive information, invoices and bank statements should not be left lying around,” advises Vocalink, a secure payment agency for businesses.

Source : telegraph.co.uk

Categorized in How to
Facebook may have revolutionized how we stay in touch with friends and family, but a new study has found that too much time on social media actually leads to increased feelings of isolation.

The study, published Monday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examined feelings of social isolation among more than 1,787 US adults between the ages of 19 and 32. 

The researchers defined social isolation as the lack of a sense of belonging, true engagement with others, and fulfilling relationships.

Participants were given a questionnaire which assessed how socially isolated a person felt, as well as how much and how often they used 11 popular social media platforms – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine, and LinkedIn.

The researchers found that participants spent an average of just over an hour (61 minutes) on social media each day, and visited social media sites a median of 30 times each week.

Twenty-seven percent of the participants reported feeling high levels of social isolation, with researchers concluding that greater social media use was linked to greater feelings of social isolation.

For instance, those who used social media more than two hours daily were around twice as likely to report feeling high levels of social isolation. Those who visited social media sites 58 times or more per week were about three times as likely to report feeling high levels of social isolation.

“We are inherently social creatures, but modern life tends to compartmentalize us instead of bringing us together,” lead author Brian Primack, director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh, said in a press release. 

“While it may seem that social media presents opportunities to fill that social void, I think this study suggests that it may not be the solution people were hoping for,” he continued.

The researchers noted that part of the problem could be that social media can give people the impression that others are leading happier lives, because people sometimes portray themselves unrealistically online.

Another theory is that people spending a lot of time on social media have less time for real-world interactions, and that such sites can make people feel excluded – such as when a person sees their friends at a party they weren't invited to.

However, the problem doesn't necessarily stem directly from social media. The researchers said it's possible that those who already felt socially isolated are simply more likely to spend a lot of time on social media.

“We do not yet know which came first – the social media use or the perceived social isolation,” co-author Elizabeth Miller, professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh, said in a statement.

“It’s possible that young adults who initially felt socially isolated turned to social media. Or it could be that their increased use of social media somehow led to feeling isolated from the real world.”

Miller also said it “could be a combination of both,” but noted that if social isolation came first, it does not seem to be alleviated by spending time online.

Source : rt.com 

Categorized in Social

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