Texting, Social Networking and Other Media Use Linked to Poor Academic Performance

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Social Media Study[Science Daily press release] — The widespread use of media among college students — from texting to chatting on cell phones to posting status updates on Facebook — may be taking an academic toll, say researchers with The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.

According to a new study, freshmen women spend nearly half their day — 12 hours — engaged in some form of media use, particularly texting, music, the Internet and social networking. Researchers found media use, in general, was associated with lower grade point averages (GPAs) and other negative academic outcomes. However, there were two exceptions: newspaper reading and listening to music were actually linked to a positive academic performance.

The findings, reported online by the journal Emerging Adulthood, offer some new insight into media use in early adulthood, a time when many young people are living independently for the first time and have significant freedom from parental monitoring.

“Most research on media use and academics has focused on adolescents, rather than new college students, or has only examined a few forms of media. So we were curious about the impact of a wider range of media, including activities like social networking and texting that have only become popular in recent years,” said lead author Jennifer L. Walsh, PhD, of The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine. “We also wanted to know how media use related to later school performance, since there aren’t many longitudinal studies looking at media use and academics.”

Walsh and colleagues surveyed 483 first-year college women at a northeast university at the start of their freshmen year. Researchers asked students about their use of 11 forms of media (television, movies, music, surfing the Internet, social networking, talking on a cell phone, texting, magazines, newspapers, non-school-related books and video games) on the average weekday and weekend day during the previous week. In January and June, participants reported their GPAs for the fall and spring semester, and they also completed surveys about academic confidence, behaviors and problems.

The study yielded some interesting findings, Walsh said. In addition to data suggesting that college women use nearly 12 hours of media per day, researchers found that cell phones, social networking, movie/television viewing and magazine reading were most negatively associated with later academic outcomes, after accounting for their fall academic performance.

But exactly how are media use and academic performance linked? “We found women who spend more time using some forms of media report fewer academic behaviors, such as completing homework and attending class, lower academic confidence and more problems affecting their school work, like lack of sleep and substance use,” said Walsh, adding that the study was one of the first to explore mechanisms of media effects on academic outcomes.

Researchers also believe the findings demonstrate the central role of social media in the lives of college students, and suggest these forms of media are used more on campus than off.

“Given the popularity of social networking and mobile technology, it seems unlikely that educators will be able to reduce students’ use of these media forms,” said Walsh. “Instead, professors might aim to integrate social media into their classrooms to remind students of assignments, refer them to resources and connect them with their classmates.”

Academic counselors might also consider assessing college students’ media use and encouraging them to take breaks from media, particularly while in class, studying or completing assignments, the researchers also noted.

Social Media can influence India’s lower house

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social mediaSocial media can influence 160 Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian Parliament) seats in the next general elections, according to a study.

“There are 160 high impact constituencies out of the total of 543 constituencies, which are likely be influenced by social media during the next general elections,” explained the study from IRIS Knowledge Foundation and Internet and Mobile Association of India. It also cited that the state of Maharashtra has a maximum of 21 high-impact constituencies followed by Gujarat with 17.

As described in NDTV, “High impact constituencies are those where the number of Facebook users is more than the margin of victory of the winner in the last Lok Sabha election, or where Facebook users account for over 10 per cent of total voters in a constituency.”

Uttar Pradesh has 14 high-impact constituencies while Karnataka has 12. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala have 12, 11, and 10 respectively.

There are 67 medium and 60 low impact constituencies.

Source: NDTV

FB Partner Categories

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FacebookFacebook has recently rolled out Partner Categories. Dubbed as a “new self-serve targeting feature”, it allows advertisers to direct their marketing campaigns to even more categories of people. Aside from the typical way for showing ads to people based on their expressed interests, business owners can now press their ads to people on Facebook based on the products and brands that they patronize both on desktop and mobile.

The data the advertisers will be getting will come from third parties including Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon. The personal information of individuals belonging to a category will not be shared between Facebook, the third parties, or the advertisers. This means that businesses will only know the size of the audience and nothing more.

Also, this new feature combines with other Facebook targeting options which means advertisers are given the chance to reach the demographic that they need.

As of its launch, there are 500 unique groups included in partner categories. This means that more people will be getting even more relevant ads, thanks to partner categories which also mean that the potential for increasing ROI and turning in more profits gets higher.

To find out more about partner categories, please visit Facebook Studio.

Blab identifies and predicts promising social media conversations

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blabBlab is launching a program that will allow businesses to predict which social media conversations are going to be important.

In a brief demonstration, Blab co-founder David Snelling showed TechCrunch how the tool would work. The platform uses a visualization tool that highlights up-and-coming topics—it identifies engaging and unique content. Best of all, it does so 72 hours before the topic actually becomes talked about.

Of course, Blab can only predict from a conversation that’s actually started. It can’t predict news items that will roll-out! Still, this platform would be a great marketing tool.

“If you’re going to create long-term content, you want it to be where [consumers] are going to be landing, not where they are now,” said Snelling.

Snelling says that Blab focuses on online user behavior on the topic. He also mentioned that the platform can make accurate predictions with as little as 30 minutes of data. But, Snelling assured, the software becomes more accurate as it collects more data.

The technology can also identify influential users and find relevant comments.

Source: TechCrunch

Is the IRS using social media to track tax cheats?

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Social Media tax cheatsHave you paid your taxes this year? If you haven’t, then you shouldn’t brag about it online. According to sources, the United States’ Internal Revenue Service is using social media to track potential tax cheats.

Based on reports, the IRS will begin checking taxpayers’ social media pages—including Facebook and Twitter—to obtain information that can result in an audit.

However, the IRS has strongly denied these conjectures. “Suggestions that the IRS is using social media to target taxpayers for audit are wrong,” explained the agency in a formal e-mail statement. “Audits are based on the information contained on a person’s tax return, not a posting on a social media site.”

According to sources, the IRS will only investigate profiles of taxpayers which have been “flagged.” Law experts say that the course of action is perfectly legal.

People that seem to have a mismatch in lifestyle and income may be put in the flagged list.

Because social media is a public platform, the government does not need a search warrant to investigate a person’s page. In relation to this, a spokesperson from the IRS claims that “respecting taxpayer rights forms a central part of all of our enforcement efforts, and that includes instances where we monitor publicly available information to assist with already existing compliance work.”

Source: FoxBusiness

The Rock and John Cena square-off in social media

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Rock vs CenaDwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena took center stage as the main event for Wrestlemania, the biggest wrestling event of the year. While Cena took the victory in the ring, outside of it—specifically on social media—the results were tightly contested.

Based on stats and figures from HootSuite—which launched a social media tracking campaign for Wrestlemania, the Rock dominated Cena in terms of online mentions. The research covered social media conversations, including Tweets, Facebook Likes, and other mentions.

While The Rock was ahead in terms of social media conversations, Cena did manage to score more Likes on Facebook.

In the past, Hootsuite also created a social media tracking campaign for the Super Bowl.

Source: Forbes

Using Facebook Promotion to Grow Email Lists

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FacebookEmail is an important push medium for owners of small businesses since it allows them to easily send information to opt-in recipients with just a few clicks of a button. It allows businesses to market their products and services easily to a number of customers. That being said, it is important to build a reputable email list to be able to distribute online promotions to a wider audience. Entrepreneurs can rely on Facebook promotion to be able to build great email lists. Below are some ways to do this:

Facebook Contests— This can be anything from photo or video submissions, to essay or caption writing contests. Make sure to make the email opt-in to be a part of the entry process to be able to further facilitate engagement and expanding a company’s Page.

Sweepstakes Promotion— This is a chance-based promotion that involves users completing a form to be able to enter and then a winner will be drawn at random after a certain period. Be sure to outline in the terms that submitting their email address also is their agreement to opt-in to the associated email list.

Trivia Promotion— Lastly, business owners can also use trivia promotions to build their email list while engaging Facebook fans and their friends. Much like the previous two, users will have to enter basic information including their email address to be eligible for the contest. They will then have to answer trivia questions and a winner will be picked from the pool of entries.

Facebook Home

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Facebook HomeCountless speculations about the Facebook Phone have been dismissed in a seemingly anti-climactic announcement last week when the social media giant presented Facebook Home—a suite of apps designed to seamlessly integrate the social network into smart phones, instead of an actual physical device at their headquarters.

One of the apps included in Home is Cover Feed. It is a condensed version of the News Feed that allows users to see photos, status updates, links, and more from their friends right on their home screens. It eliminates the need to launch a separate app to see what friends are sharing on Facebook.

Another app native to Home is Chat Heads. This allows users to jump in and out of conversations with their friends even while watching videos, browsing the web, or using other apps. It also allows users to send and receive texts as well as Facebook messages in one place.

Another cool app bundled with Facebook Home is these App Launcher. Users simply need to drag their profile picture to wherever they want to go. Drag it left to chart chatting with friends, drag up to post on Facebook, and drag right to go to the last used app.

Facebook Home will be available on the HTC First beginning April 12th and soon, it will be offered on all android devices including tablets.

For more information about Facebook Home, please visit https://www.facebook.com/home.

Vine updates its features

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Twitter VineVine, Twitter’s video-sharing application, gives brands opportunities to integrate video-marketing on the micro-blogging site. However, the app’s limited features constrain its potential.

Initially, the app’s limited features constrained its potential. In light of this, Vine has started to rollout new features that encourage social sharing. Most recently, the app included embed codes for videos—which lets users share them on sites like Facebook and Twitter. For the brands, the update lets them publish promotional content.

In addition to that, the updated version also lets brands answer and address user questions and concerns via video.

Plus, user privacy was also factored in with the new embed feature. The video’s sharing options depend on how the creator distributed the video. For instance, if a user uploaded the video on Twitter, it can only be shared on Twitter.

With these updates, social media marketers can integrate Vine to complement their online marketing efforts.

Source: Brafton

Securities and Exchange Commission loosens rules on social media info dissemination

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SECChief executives can now post any information in social media as long as they inform investors before hand about their social media strategy.

The Securities and Exchange Commission revealed new disclosure rules on Tuesday on how companies can use social media to disseminate information. While the new rules encourage social media sharing, companies may still reduce interaction on the platform. Many say that companies will opt to limit information-sharing to their official communication lines.

A few months back, the SEC encountered issues with Netflix concerning social media disclosure. During the incident, the raised concerns about information-sharing on the platform. However, the SEC has since made an effort to ease its rules and regulations on social media sharing.

The SEC maintains that companies can use social media as a legitimate outlet for communication. The companies need only clarify which social media sites will be used as official information outlets.

Source: NYTimes