CES: CTA’s Research VP Steve Koenig on ‘Trends to Watch’

According to CTA vice president of research Steve Koenig’s “Tech Trends to Watch” presentation at CES in Las Vegas, developments in 2022 will emerge from the transportation, space tech, sustainable technology and digital health sectors. Innovations will include electric vehicles, micro-mobility solutions and space tourism as well as alternative power sources, smart cities and homes and, in digital health, an increased use of wearables as well as an emphasis on solutions for mental health. Last year also saw historic highs of consumer demand in a wide variety of sectors. Continue reading CES: CTA’s Research VP Steve Koenig on ‘Trends to Watch’

TikTok Adjusts Feed to Curb Repetition, Offers Users Control

TikTok is tweaking its For You feed so users won’t be recommended too much of the same content. The move follows a global spate of regulatory hearings that took social media companies to task for promoting content that intentionally polarizes adults and potentially harms children. In addition to “diversifying recommendations” in order to “interrupt repetitive patterns” around topics that may provide negative reinforcement, like “loneliness or weight loss,” the popular ByteDance platform said it is also introducing a new feature that will allow users to avoid specific topics or creators. Continue reading TikTok Adjusts Feed to Curb Repetition, Offers Users Control

Research Highlights Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

A Facebook team researching user well-being found that 1 in 8 users engage in compulsive social media habits that impact work, sleep, parenting or relationships, an analysis of recently released company documents suggests. The potentially harmful behavior, said to be categorized as “problematic use,” is comparable to what is also known as “Internet addiction.” Researchers said while some users lack control over disengaging from Facebook, the behavior isn’t considered “clinical addiction” because it doesn’t impact the brain the same way as habits like gambling or substance abuse. The research also referenced compulsive behavior among users of other social media apps. Continue reading Research Highlights Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

Social Platforms Face Government Questions on Teen Safety

Executives from Snap, TikTok and YouTube tried to distance themselves from Facebook and one another in a Tuesday Senate hearing about online safety for young users. In a combative exchange lasting nearly four hours, the participating social platforms tried to make the case they are already taking steps to protect minors, while lawmakers countered that their staff was able to find posts featuring inappropriate content on their sites, sometimes while logged in as teens. “Being different from Facebook is not a defense,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). Continue reading Social Platforms Face Government Questions on Teen Safety

Facebook Vies with Whistleblower to Spin Latest News Cycle

Facebook vice president of global affairs Nick Clegg in a round of Sunday morning news appearances advocated his company’s position in the midst of senatorial attack, discussing new safety tools and emphasizing the company’s repeated requests for congressional guidelines. Means to deflect users from harmful content, curb political content and put programming power in the hands of parents were among the new measures by which to impede vulnerabilities. Instagram in particular will invite adult supervision over accounts belonging to minors. Clegg stressed Instagram Kids for 13-and-under as part of the solution. Continue reading Facebook Vies with Whistleblower to Spin Latest News Cycle

Facebook Hits Pause on Instagram App for Users 13 & Under

Facing a Congressional hearing on the potential harmful effects of Instagram on teenage girls, Facebook announced it is pausing work on Instagram Kids, intended for children 13 and under. Facebook says it still plans to build a more age-appropriate Instagram but is holding off in the face of what has become a public relations crisis for the company. “This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today,” explained Instagram head Adam Mosseri. Continue reading Facebook Hits Pause on Instagram App for Users 13 & Under

XCheck System Is Scrutinized by Facebook Oversight Board

Facebook’s semi-independent Oversight Board is scrutinizing the company’s XCheck (or cross-check) system, which permits famous or powerful users to be held to more lenient behavior rules than other users. The inquiry, which calls out “apparent inconsistencies” in the social media firm’s decision-making, follows an investigative report by The Wall Street Journal. XCheck was initially designed as a quality control system for sanctions against high-profile users, including celebrities, politicians and journalists. It eventually grew to encompass millions of accounts, some of whom were “whitelisted,” which rendered them immune from disciplinary actions. Continue reading XCheck System Is Scrutinized by Facebook Oversight Board

CES: Identifying Consumer Trends Shaping the New Normal

The Harris Poll’s CEO John Gerzema and Mastercard’s EVP of North America marketing and communications Cheryl Guerin presented data from their recent joint market research study of COVID-19’s impact on digital commerce. They grouped their findings around four key trends: The Touchless Revolution, The Betterment Boom, The Rise of Revenge Spending and The Uncalendared Year. The presentation was followed by a 30-minute discussion with panelists Julia Hammond of MDC Partners, DyShaun Muhammad of Uber, Lou Paskalis of Bank of America and Katie Riccio Puris of TikTok. Continue reading CES: Identifying Consumer Trends Shaping the New Normal

Instagram Aims to Reduce Influencer Impact on Young Users

Facebook’s photo- and video-sharing app Instagram announced its plans to restrict certain content, including posts that promote cosmetic surgery procedures and weight-loss products, from users who are younger than 18 years of age. While some posts will be hidden from young users, other posts will be removed altogether from both Instagram and Facebook, including those from A-list celebrities such as the Kardashians. The move is part of an effort by the social networks to address growing concerns regarding the significant impact of influencer marketing on children. Continue reading Instagram Aims to Reduce Influencer Impact on Young Users

Instagram Expands Tests of Hiding Likes to Reduce Anxiety

Facebook’s Instagram began testing a new approach with users in Canada two months ago and this week expanded its efforts to include users in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. The experiment removes emphasis on the “Like” feature to minimize the pressure to compete, while hopefully creating a more personal and enjoyable experience. Users are still able to see who liked other people’s posts or watched their videos, but there is no longer a running tally of the number of likes and views (however, users can still privately see the counts for their own posts). Continue reading Instagram Expands Tests of Hiding Likes to Reduce Anxiety

Researchers Advocate for Deeper Analysis of Online Habits

Determining the impact of screen time isn’t easy. It’s almost impossible to put together a “control group” of people living non-digital lives, and there are no baselines for such factors as “average daily Facebook usage.” Stanford University professor of communication Byron Reeves, in a paper in Human-Computer Interaction, suggested a new approach that eschews the term “screen time” as hopelessly ambiguous. Instead, he argued, scientists should analyze what people are watching — but this data doesn’t exist. Continue reading Researchers Advocate for Deeper Analysis of Online Habits