Teens’ Love for Social Media Evolving


According to a new report published by the Pew Research Center (see attached), social media remains a popular platform among teens, even with its many flaws.

In their survey, Pew found that 81% of users aged 13 to 17 believe social media helps them feel more connected to their friends and family, a statistic that might explain why 97% admit to using at least one of the top networks.

Respondents also said social media exposed them to greater diversity and made them more civically minded. 69% said social sites facilitated interactions with others from diverse backgrounds and allowed them to show support for causes (66%).

43% admitted to feeling pressure to post content that makes them “look good,” 45% said they feel “overwhelmed by all the drama” with 44% resorting to unfriend or unfollow others as a result.

Also of note, nearly half (46%) of teens said they at least sometimes spend time in online groups or forums, with the types of forums varying by gender.

New Cisco Report Hints at the Future of the Web


In their annual Visual Networking Index, Cisco predicts that more Internet traffic will be created in 2022 than in the 32 years since its introduction.

According to their data, more than 28 billion connected devices will drive that growth, with video accounting for as much as 82% of all traffic.

For marketers, this means more opportunities to deliver media across a broader range of platforms.

Traffic, says Cisco, will come from devices of all types and will be generated by 4.8 billion users (or 60% of the global population). With average global mobile connection speeds clocking in at 28.5 Mbps, advertisers will finally have the bandwidth needed to design and deliver richer experiences, and access larger amounts of data coming from the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Data and consumer insights will be particularly valuable advertising currency,says Thomas Barnett, Cisco’s director of service provider thought leadership. “In the age of digital transformation, it won’t be about buying lists and simple contact info; much more detailed and custom info on profiles, patterns and habits can be gleaned from IoT data.

With the Debut of Two New Features, Instagram Sets Sights on Accessibility

instagram followers

Instagram has added two new features aimed at visually-impaired users who utilize screen readers.

The first automatic alternative text – provides audio descriptions of photos (as generated by Instagram’s object recognition technology). The second gives publishers the ability to create their own custom text-based descriptions to be read when users scroll through or click on a photo.

It’s an interesting move for a platform whose entire currency is based on image-based storytelling (and maybe even an opportunity for keyword optimization). Per a post on the company’s blog, the enhancements were pushed to promote a “more accessible Instagram” and make it easier for the more than 285 million people in the world with visual impairments to enjoy the platform.

Consortium Issues Universal Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence

AI Issues

Endorsed by nearly 200 experts and 40 non-governmental organizations representing 30 countries, the recently published Universal Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence (UGAI) denote an important step in acknowledging the potentially negative consequences of the technology.

Built around a set of principles that developers and users should consider in order to avoid the human rights violations, the guidance covers a broad range of topics including rights to transparency, obligations of identification and accountability, cybersecurity, and prohibitions on secret profiling and unitary scoring.

Given the swell of violations and breaches (the most recent of which impacted an estimated 500 million guests of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide), the UGAI serves as yet another reminder for companies (and all of their partners) who seek to use personal data to deliver advertising messages: in this new era, doing diligence on compliance is a big part of your job.

Purveyors of Voice-Enabled Platforms Seek to Reward Users Who Play Nice

Voice - Enababled

A growing number of developers behind voice assistants and their accompanying technologies want to add a new function to the end-user experience: common courtesy.

While something of a divisive topic, the concept of imbuing niceties like “please” and “thank you” into voice-triggered activities can be interpreted as a step toward humanizing the voices behind services like Google, Alexa, Siri, and Cortana.

Following Amazon’s decision to reward little ones for minding their p’s and q’s when engaging Alexa, Google announced plans for similar functionality (“Pretty Please”) at their I/O conference.

The enhanced features made their debut this week, and will acknowledge politeness by responding in kind. Along with Pretty Please, Google has also introduced a talkback feature for integration between Google smart displays and Nest Hello video doorbells, as well as an update to Assistant’s note- and list-taking services.

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