Social Media

40 stories
Alcalde de Tweets
MIT's Twitter-backed research highlights Twitter use by small Spanish town
6889864270_87060996c4_z
Twitter can be used for a lot of things — a personal newswire, celebrity PR machine, or meme distribution system. It appears that one small town in Spain is taking advantage of Twitter's real-time conversation stream to replace the complaint line at City Hall. Read More
Kids these days
Pew study finds teens' social media use varies by gender, economic background
shutterstock_200555786
It looks like a few stereotypes about "teenagers these days" might have some basis in fact. According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, 92 percent of teens (defined as ages 13 to 17) report going online every single day — and of these, almost one in four say that they are online "almost constantly." Read More
Social Media
Can Facebook curb cigarette use in young adults?
smoking
Anti-smoking campaigns have long relied on broader media campaigns to help convey the dangers of tobacco use. But is that the best way to do it? Might it be more effective to work directly within the channels that smokers already pay attention to? Such was the premise behind a study recently conducted by Rebecca J. Haines-Saah, a health sociologist at the University of British Columbia, and published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Haines-Saah has spent her career looking at how the health habits of young adults are portrayed in the media, something she said she first started thinking about while working as an actress in the late '80s and early '90s on the hit Canadian television show “Degrassi Junior High.” Read More
Private social network 'Koko' to give people with depression a boost on bad days
12408248683_9bf73f22aa_k
Millions of Americans battle anxiety disorders and depression, conditions that sap social ties and leave sufferers vulnerable if they lack a viable support system. Now, a group of researchers with ties to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are creating a private social network where people can anonymously share their daily struggles, and also find kinship. While the forum won’t replace professional treatment or therapy, Robert Morris, who created the system as a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab, said it does show promise as a reliable support for people battling stress. Read More
Building Buzz
Nanigans gets $24M for social media ad-tech expansion
Nanigans
Social media is big business — and it should get even bigger as traditional ad spending continues moving to digital channels. One of the beneficiaries of that shift is Nanigans. The five-year-old company, based in Boston, helps advertisers get the most out of their marketing budget by allowing them to target their digital ads and see how well they perform across hundreds of millions of social-media users. Read More
Work in progress
Twitter expands safety team to better monitor harassment online
twitteronline
Twitter has tripled the number of staff members working on safety issues and rolled out new systems to track harassment and abusive behavior on the social network. Among the new features will be a method to verify the identity of users, as well as a mechanism for reporting accounts that "dox," or share, a target's personal information, such as a home address, online. Read More
Social Media
Putting the face in Facebook: How the social network shapes body image
Spending time on Facebook can influence how some women feel about their appearance.
Some people on public transit may glance over the shoulders of fellow commuters fiddling with their Facebook pages only for the voyeuristic pleasure of having a peek into someone else’s life. But behavioral science researcher Jasmine Fardouly, a doctoral candidate at the University of New South Wales in Australia, saw an opportunity. Read More