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Chinese enthusiasm for social media drops sharply

February 26, 2015 Comments off

Chinese enthusiasm for social media drops sharply
Source: Kantar

Chinese social media users are increasingly concerned with the impact social media is having on their lives as the number of people who feel positively about social media has dropped by 12.1 percentage points from last year to 64.7%.

The second annual Kantar China Social Media Impact Report also found that social media is now used by more age groups, by less educated people and by people in smaller cities, while Tencent WeChat has become the dominant social media platform of an increasingly mobile-connected country.

Categories: China, Kantar, social media

Red, Purple and Pink: The Colors of Diffusion on Pinterest

February 23, 2015 Comments off

Red, Purple and Pink: The Colors of Diffusion on Pinterest
Source: PLoS ONE

Many lab studies have shown that colors can evoke powerful emotions and impact human behavior. Might these phenomena drive how we act online? A key research challenge for image-sharing communities is uncovering the mechanisms by which content spreads through the community. In this paper, we investigate whether there is link between color and diffusion. Drawing on a corpus of one million images crawled from Pinterest, we find that color significantly impacts the diffusion of images and adoption of content on image sharing communities such as Pinterest, even after partially controlling for network structure and activity. Specifically, Red, Purple and pink seem to promote diffusion, while Green, Blue, Black and Yellow suppress it. To our knowledge, our study is the first to investigate how colors relate to online user behavior. In addition to contributing to the research conversation surrounding diffusion, these findings suggest future work using sophisticated computer vision techniques. We conclude with a discussion on the theoretical, practical and design implications suggested by this work—e.g. design of engaging image filters.

“She said yes!” – Liminality and Engagement Announcements on Twitter

February 19, 2015 Comments off

“She said yes!” – Liminality and Engagement Announcements on Twitter (PDF)
Source: Georgia Institute of Technology

Social media sites enable people to share milestones in their lives, but relatively little is understood about how and why they are used in the context of major life changes. We utilize social media as a lens to explore the behavior of individuals undergoing a major life transition – those who use Twitter to announce that they are engaged to be married. Inspired by the anthropological concept “liminality”, we identify behavior manifested in Twitter that characterize this transitional phase. A large-scale quantitative study of Twitter postings of engaged individuals spanning two years shows that this phase marks notable changes in behavior that can be gleaned from social media. A follow-up survey provides qualitative explanations for the statistical analysis. Our findings reveal how individuals may be utilizing social media in the context of a major milestone in life, and bear implications for social media design and applications.

Hat tip: http://researchbuzz.me/

Planning and Social Media: A Case Study of Public Transit and Stigma on Twitter

February 19, 2015 Comments off

Planning and Social Media: A Case Study of Public Transit and Stigma on Twitter
Source: Journal of the American Planning Association

Problem, research strategy, and findings: How media portray public transit services can affect the way voters and stakeholders think about future transit investments. In this study, I examine social media content about public transit from a large sample of Twitter comments, finding that they reflect more negative sentiments about public transit than do the comments about most other public services, and include more negative material about transit patrons. However, transit agencies may be able to influence the tone of those comments through the way they engage with social media. Transit agencies that respond directly to questions, concerns, and comments of other social media users, as opposed to merely “blasting” announcements, have more positive statements about all aspects of services and fewer slurs directed at patrons, independent of actual service quality. The interaction does not have to be customer oriented. Agencies using Twitter to chat with users about their experiences or new service also have statistically significantly more positive sentiments expressed about them on social media. This study’s limitations are that it covers only one social media outlet, does not cover all transit agencies, and cannot fully control for differences in transit agency service.

Takeaway for practice: Planners committed to a stronger role for public transit in developing sustainable and equitable cities have a stake in the social media strategy of public transit agencies; moreover, they should not let racial and sexist slurs about patrons dominate feeds. Planners should encourage interactive social media strategies. Even agencies that only tweet interactively a few times a day seem to have more civil discussions surrounding their agencies and announcements on Twitter than agencies that use their feed only to blast service announcements.

Social Media: Legal Challenges and Pitfalls for Law Enforcement Agencies

February 2, 2015 Comments off

Social Media: Legal Challenges and Pitfalls for Law Enforcement Agencies
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Current statistics regarding individuals’ use of social media are staggering. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) Center for Social Media website, Facebook users share approximately 684,478 pieces of content every minute, and the average user creates 90 pieces of content each month, including links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, and videos. Each day 1 million accounts are added to Twitter, and Instagram records approximately a billion “likes” for material posted on the site.

Given the thorough integration of social media into peoples’ lives and the ease with which users instantly share their thoughts, opinions, and “status” with family, friends, and strangers, not surprisingly, some users will post items that other people may find inappropriate. This becomes particularly problematic when an employee of a public safety agency posts or is depicted in such material. Because of the significant adverse effects public safety employees’ misuse of social media can have on them as witnesses, on agency operations, and on the department’s relationship with the community it serves, many police agencies have addressed their employees’ use of social media, whether proactively in the form of policy, reactively in the face of an incident, or both. A former chief of police in Smithfield, Virginia, and past president of the IACP stated, “This is something that all police chiefs around the country, if you’re not dealing with it, you better deal with it.”

See also: 2014 Social Media Survey (International Association of Chiefs of Police)
See also: Making Social Media Part of the Uniform: How policing solutions use #socialmedia to #buildcommunities and #fightcrime (PDF; International Association of Chiefs of Police)

Use of Social Media Across US Hospitals: Descriptive Analysis of Adoption and Utilization

January 29, 2015 Comments off

Use of Social Media Across US Hospitals: Descriptive Analysis of Adoption and Utilization
Source: Journal of Medical Internet Research

Background:
Use of social media has become widespread across the United States. Although businesses have invested in social media to engage consumers and promote products, less is known about the extent to which hospitals are using social media to interact with patients and promote health.

Objective:
The aim was to investigate the relationship between hospital social media extent of adoption and utilization relative to hospital characteristics.

Methods:
We conducted a cross-sectional review of hospital-related activity on 4 social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Foursquare. All US hospitals were included that reported complete data for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey and the American Hospital Association Annual Survey. We reviewed hospital social media webpages to determine the extent of adoption relative to hospital characteristics, including geographic region, urban designation, bed size, ownership type, and teaching status. Social media utilization was estimated from user activity specific to each social media platform, including number of Facebook likes, Twitter followers, Foursquare check-ins, and Yelp reviews.

Results:
Adoption of social media varied across hospitals with 94.41% (3351/3371) having a Facebook page and 50.82% (1713/3371) having a Twitter account. A majority of hospitals had a Yelp page (99.14%, 3342/3371) and almost all hospitals had check-ins on Foursquare (99.41%, 3351/3371). Large, urban, private nonprofit, and teaching hospitals were more likely to have higher utilization of these accounts.

Conclusions:
Although most hospitals adopted at least one social media platform, utilization of social media varied according to several hospital characteristics. This preliminary investigation of social media adoption and utilization among US hospitals provides the framework for future studies investigating the effect of social media on patient outcomes, including links between social media use and the quality of hospital care and services.

The global economic impact of Facebook: Helping to unlock new opportunities

January 27, 2015 Comments off

The global economic impact of Facebook: Helping to unlock new opportunities
Source: Deloitte

Key findings in the report include:

  • The United States is estimated to capture the largest share of economic impact enabled, $100bn;
  • High rates of engagement enabled $21bn of economic impact in Central and South America;
  • The thriving app economy in EMEA has helped to generate $13bn of economic impact for the region through the platform effects; and
  • In APAC internet uptake and purchases of devices motivated by Facebook have contributed to $13bn of economic impact.
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