Archive

Posts Tagged ‘social networking sites’

Study: 91% of Gen-Ys Use Their Phones in the Bathroom

January 30th, 2012 01:45 admin View Comments

Smartphones-cigarette.jpgSome people won’t go anywhere without their smartphones. Not even the pot.

A new study from 11mark surveyed 1,000 Americans about their smartphone usage, and found that a whopping 75% of American smartphone owners have used their phones in the bathroom. More women have used their phones in the bathroom than men (76% vs. 74%), but men are actually more attached to their mobile devices than women. Thirty percent of men surveyed said they won’t go to the bathroom without their phone versus 25% of women.

The study breaks down grossness by phone type, pointing out that Droid users (87%) are more likely to use their mobile phones in the bathroom than those with a BlackBerry or an iPhone (84% and 77%, respectively). Blackberry users, however, were more likely to answer or initiate a call from the bathroom. iPhone were the most polite of the three, with 67% using apps (67%) and 53% playing on social networking sites.

Believe it or not, Gen-Ys were more likely to use their phones in the bathroom than Gen-Xs, Boomers or the elusively dubbed “Silent Generation” (people born before 1946). But even some people ages 66-years and up used their phones from the bathroom.

smartphones-by-generation.png

OK, so maybe mobile phones really are the new cigarette. Does this look familiar?

My phone gives me a buzz.jpg

But maybe we should be less concerned about mobile habits than hygiene habits. After all, phones carry germs. And while 92% of respondents said they washed their hands after using the restroom, only 14% admitted to washing their phones.

Comic via Blogwell.

Source: Study: 91% of Gen-Ys Use Their Phones in the Bathroom

Study: 91% of Gen-Ys Use Their Phones in the Bathroom

January 30th, 2012 01:45 admin View Comments

Smartphones-cigarette.jpgSome people won’t go anywhere without their smartphones. Not even the pot.

A new study from 11mark surveyed 1,000 Americans about their smartphone usage, and found that a whopping 75% of American smartphone owners have used their phones in the bathroom. More women have used their phones in the bathroom than men (76% vs. 74%), but men are actually more attached to their mobile devices than women. Thirty percent of men surveyed said they won’t go to the bathroom without their phone versus 25% of women.

The study breaks down grossness by phone type, pointing out that Droid users (87%) are more likely to use their mobile phones in the bathroom than those with a BlackBerry or an iPhone (84% and 77%, respectively). Blackberry users, however, were more likely to answer or initiate a call from the bathroom. iPhone were the most polite of the three, with 67% using apps (67%) and 53% playing on social networking sites.

Believe it or not, Gen-Ys were more likely to use their phones in the bathroom than Gen-Xs, Boomers or the elusively dubbed “Silent Generation” (people born before 1946). But even some people ages 66-years and up used their phones from the bathroom.

smartphones-by-generation.png

OK, so maybe mobile phones really are the new cigarette. Does this look familiar?

My phone gives me a buzz.jpg

But maybe we should be less concerned about mobile habits than hygiene habits. After all, phones carry germs. And while 92% of respondents said they washed their hands after using the restroom, only 14% admitted to washing their phones.

Comic via Blogwell.

Source: Study: 91% of Gen-Ys Use Their Phones in the Bathroom

FBI Building App To Scrape Social Media

January 27th, 2012 01:08 admin View Comments

Facebook

Trailrunner7 writes “The FBI is in the early stages of developing an application that would monitor sites such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as various news feeds, in order to find information on emerging threats and new events happening at the moment. The tool would give specialists the ability to pull the data into a dashboard that also would include classified information coming in at the same time. One of the key capabilities of the new application, for which the FBI has sent out a solicitation, would be to ‘provide an automated search and scrape capability for social networking sites and open source news sites for breaking events, crisis and threats that meet the search parameters/keywords defined by FBI/SIOC.’”

Source: FBI Building App To Scrape Social Media

Study: Why Do People Use Facebook?

January 16th, 2012 01:00 admin View Comments

Facebook Logo_150x150.jpgFacebook is an accepted means of communication. It is a never-ending virtual social gathering filled with adopted puppies, cute LOL kitties, baby announcements, viral articles and videos, events, groups, organizations and fan pages. But why do people really use it?

A new study entitled “Why do people use Facebook?” from Boston University’s Ashwini Nadkarni and Stefan G. Hofmann proposes that the social network meets two primary human needs: (1) the need to belong and (2) the need for self-presentation. The study also acknowledges demographic and cultural factors as they relate to the belonging need, and the variation of personality types on Facebook usage.

The study defines social networking sites (SNSs) as “Internet-based services that give individuals three major capabilities: The ability to construct a public or semi-private profile, identify a list of other users with whom a connection is shared, and view and track connections made by individuals and others.

Who Is Using Facebook? A Breakdown by Demographics

Before 2009, MySpace led the social network race. By April 2009, it was dead. A 2008 study by Hargittai (“Whose space? Differences among users and non-users of social network sites,” in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13, 267-297) found that Hispanic students made up 25% of the MySpace population as compared to only 14% of Facebook users.

The demographics of Facebook are quite different. Women are more likely to use Facebook than men, and Hispanic students were less likely to use it than Caucasians (Hargittai, 2008; Hargittai & Hsieh, 2010a, “From dabblers to omnivores: A typology of social network site usage. In Z. Papacharissi (Ed.), A networked self. London, UK: Routledge, pp. 146-168; Hargittai & Hsieh, 2010b, “Predictors and consequences of social network site usage,” in Information, Communication and Society, 13,, 515-536).

A study from 2009 (Grasmuck, Martin & Zhao, 2009, “Ethno-racial identity displays on Faacebook,” in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 15, 158-188) found that African Americans, Latinos and Indian students displayed “greater intensity of cultural selves (marked by specific consumer and popular culture preferences) than the White students and Vietnamese ancestry students.”

This is in line with findings from the Facebook Data team, which shows the steady increase of black and Hispanic users in early 2009, and a decline of the number of Asian users. This data looked at surnames on Facebook with data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau to see percentages of racial minorities on Facebook.

Minorities-on-FB-2009.jpeg

What Types of People Use Facebook? A Cyberpsychology Approach

Previous studies have looked at the similarities between offline personality portrayal and online personality, proving strong connections between real personality and Facebook-related behavior. Extroverts report the most friends and highest engagement levels. People categorized as conscientious types – disciplined, organized and achievement-oriented – report the least Facebook use.

Facebook engagement results in a trail of virtual residue, including photos, videos, links, status updates and other traces of a virtual presence. A 2009 study (Ross et al., 2009, “Personality and motivations associated with Facebook use,” in Computers in Human Behavior, 25, 578-586) found that personality types that ranked high on neuroticism claimed the Facebook Wall as their favorite component. People who were low on neuroticism, however, said photos were their favorite. Another 2009 study (Orr et al., 2009, “The influence of shyness on the use of Facebook in an undergraduate sample,” in CyberPsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 12, 337-340) found that while shy individuals had fewer friends on Facebook relative to nonshy people, the shy individuals spent more time on Facebook and liked the social network more overall.

A 2010 study (Buffardi and Campbell, “Narcissism and social networking web sites” in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1303-1314.) found a positive association between narcissism and Facebook use, especially in relation to profiles and photos, both features that allow users to promote themselves. The study found that people with a high level of narcissism and people with low levels of self-esteem spent more than an hour per day on Facebook.

The study summarizes the literature review, and comes to a few not-so-surprising conclusions about why people use Facebook.

Frequent FB users “exhibit a high level of extraversion, low self-esteem, high levels of neuroticism and narcissism, and low levels of self-esteem and self-worth are associated with high FB use.” The study goes on to note that frequent Facebook use may be associated with lower academic performance, but it may lead to higher self-esteem and a sense of belonging.

We All Want To Be A Part…Of Something: Facebook and the Dual-Factor Model

Everyone just wants to belong, right? In the online aspect of our lives, Facebook offers us that virtual sense of belonging. The study claims that Facebook meets two basic social needs: (1) the need to belong and (2) the need for self-presentation. Self-esteem and self-worth are associated closely with the first basic social need, to belong. Facebook use is, of course, also influenced by sociodemographic and cultural factors. Females and ethnic minorities tended to use Facebook more than males and Caucasians.

This last part of the study looked at Facebook use in individualistic versus, which emphasize individual achievements and success, versus collectivistic cultures, which focus on harmony within the group. In these cultures, individual gain is less important than the social group. The study hypothesizes that “members from individualistic cultures are more likely to share private information with their Facebook friends and more likely to raise potentially controversial topics as compared to Facebook users from collectivistic cultures.”

People in collectivist cultures are more likely to stay in troubled marriages and jobs than people in individualistic cultures (Diener, 2000, “Subjective well-being: The science of happiness, and a proposal for a national index,” in American Psychologist, 55, 34-43). As such, Facebook can serve as a support system for those people in collectivist cultures, who have frequent interactions and a close circle of Facebook friends.

Another study looked at the results of being exposed to information presented on one’s Facebook profile, suggesting that it can help enhance self-esteem. This proved especially true when a person edited information about the self (Gonzales & Hancock, 2010, “Mirror, Mirror on my Facebook wall: Effects of exposure to Facebook on self-esteem,” in Cyberpsychology Behavior and Social Networking, 14, 79-83).

Can Facebook enhance self-esteem through offline friendships? A 2010 study (Lou, 2010, “Loneliness, friendship, and self-esteem: First-year college students’ experience of using facebook,” in Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 70, 7902) found that Facebook use intensity reduced perceived levels of loneliness, but FB’s improvement of a user’s social life did not improve the user’s self-esteem.

Other studies have found correlations between Facebook use and improvement of self-esteem. Yu and colleagues (Yu, A. Y., Tian, S. W., Vogel, D., & Kwok, R. C.-W. (2010), “Can learning be virtually boosted? An investigation of online social networking impacts,” in Computers and Education, 55, 1494-1503) collected surveys from college students majoring in business at an undergraduate school in China. Results showed that FB use benefited socialization and social learning outcomes, including higher levels of self-esteem. The findings in this study suggest that “the association between self-esteem and Facebook use is complex and possibly moderated by cultural and social factors.” In collectivistic culture such as China, Facebook use may enhance self esteem. Still, more research must be conducted.

What about Facebook use and social connection? Disconnection often times motivates Facebook use, and being connected rewards it according to a 2011 study by Sheldon, Abad & Hirsch (“A two-process view of facebook use and relatedness need-satisfaction: Disconnection drives use, and connection rewards it,” in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 766-775), the authors discovered that “frequent Facebook use correlated with feelings of general connection in life and also with feelings of general disconnection in life.” In yet another study, researchers found that “the correlation of disconnection with Facebook use was mediated by the tendency to cope with disconnection via Facebook.” In other words, Facebook became both the outlet for disconnection and the perpetuation of it.

Another study (Kim & Lee, 2011, “The Facebook paths to happiness: Effects of the number of Facebook friends and self-presentation on subjective well-being,” in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 6, 359-364) found that because Facebook lets users visualize social connections, it validated and enhanced users’ self-esteem.

The Bottom Line: Facebook Fulfills Our Need for Self-Presentation

Studies have found that on Facebook, the self you portray is not idealized – it is the real you. But a 2008 study by Zhao, Grasmuck & Martin (“Identity construction on Facebook: Digital empowerment in anchored relationships,” in Computers in Human Behavior, 24, 1816-1836) found that the Facebook selves appeared to be socially desirable identities that individuals aspired to have offline but do not have – yet. Furthermore, identities created on Facebook differed greatly from those constructed in anonymous online environments.

What about Facebook’s impact on impression formation? If you’re going on a date with someone you meet on OKCupid, for example, chances are you’ve friended them on Facebook to get a better idea of them. Recruiters are using Facebook to screen potential job applicants. An overabundance of friend connections actually produced doubts about FB users’ actual popularity (Tong et al., 2008, “Too much of a good thing? The relationship between number of friends and interpersonal impressions on Facebook” in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13, 531-549).

The study concludes this section with the idea that Facebook profiles reflect the users’ public persona, which appears to be “shaped by the need for self-presentation.” These types of needs guide the users’ behaviors, profile photo and number of friends, all of which make up one’s impression of the user.

So, Why Are We Really Using Facebook?

Facebook currently has 800 million users worldwide. According to the study, people use Facebook to fulfill two basic social needs: the need to belong and the need for self-presentation. Facebook use is also influenced by outside factors, such as cultural background, sociodemographic variables and personality traits.

These findings account for the oft-cited “shutting off Facebook for a period of time” social experiments that we tend to see floating about the Internet. In this “Facebook detox,” the user felt upset about the Facebook privacy settings, and a general sense of information overload. So, he “detoxed” for a period of 30 days.

A recent New York Times article entitled “The Facebook Resisters” sparked a similar controversy stemming from concerns about privacy, alienation and a feeling of information overload. Friends of mine have often times referred to Facebook as a “black hole.”

Mashable writer Sam Laird conducted a similar experiment. He deactivated his account in July 2011; five months later he wrote about it in “My Life Without Facebook: A Social Experiment.” While he did find that he no longer had the “should I post this to Facebook?” question lingering in the back of his mind all the time, and he spent less time in front of the computer overall, there was one thing he missed.

He missed those “funny Facebook photos from parties or nights out come up when hanging out with friends.” Laird wrote that he found himself “playing catch-up when someone brings up an article someone else shared on Facebook.”

He misses what most every Facebook user would miss if they shut down their account: that sense of belonging and of self-presentation. These are the reasons people use Facebook, despite its long list of privacy issues.

Source: Study: Why Do People Use Facebook?

DHS Monitors Social Media For ‘Political Dissent’

January 14th, 2012 01:19 admin View Comments

Security

OverTheGeicoE writes “Recently, TSA’s ‘Blogger Bob’ Burns posted a rant against a cupcake on the TSA blog. Perhaps it made you wonder if TSA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, really understand what we’re saying about them, especially online. Well, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, we now know a lot more about how they monitor online comments aside from ‘Blogger Bob.’ EPIC has received hundreds of pages of documents regarding DHS’s online surveillance program. These documents reveal that DHS has contracts with General Dynamics for ’24/7 media and social network monitoring.’ Perhaps it will warm your heart to know that DHS is particularly interested in tracking media stories that ‘reflect adversely’ on the U.S. government generally and DHS specifically. The documents include a report summary that might be representative of General Dynamics’ work. The example includes summaries of comments on blogs and social networking sites, including quotes. Then again, you might remember J. Edgar Hoover’s monitoring of antiwar activists during the Vietnam War, which certainly wasn’t for the protesters’ benefit.”

Source: DHS Monitors Social Media For ‘Political Dissent’

India OKs Censoring Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo

January 14th, 2012 01:12 admin View Comments

Censorship

An anonymous reader writes “An Indian court given the green light for the prosecution of ’21 social networking sites.’ The list features 10 foreign-based companies, and could affect websites provided by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and YouTube. The recent development is part of an ongoing argument between the companies and India over whether content should be regulated (read: censored) in the country. The approval was actually made on December 23, 2011, but was only revealed yesterday. India warned these websites it can block them just like China can.”

Source: India OKs Censoring Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo

Iran Developing ‘Halal’ Domestic Intranet

January 6th, 2012 01:48 admin View Comments

Censorship

An anonymous reader writes “The WSJ reports that Iran is beginning a crackdown on Internet use by its citizens, creating new blocks against foreign content and stepping up surveillance of browsing habits. Internet cafes in Iran have 15 days to set up security cameras and start collecting information on customers, and people are finding it increasingly difficult to use social networking sites. The new restrictions are likely being implemented now to head off dissent and protests about the upcoming parliamentary elections. According to the article, ‘The network slowdown likely heralds the arrival of an initiative Iran has been readying—a “halal” domestic intranet that it has said will insulate its citizens from Western ideology and un-Islamic culture, and eventually replace the Internet. This week’s slowdown came amid tests of the Iranian intranet, according to domestic media reports that cited a spokesman for a union of computer-systems firms. He said the intranet is set to go live within a few weeks.’”

Source: Iran Developing ‘Halal’ Domestic Intranet

The First World Consumes While The Third World Produces

January 5th, 2012 01:10 admin View Comments

Forrester_Logo_150x150.jpgA new study from Forrester proves that the majority of Americans are a bunch of lazy re-tweeters. Ninety-three percent of online consumers in emerging markets of China, India, Mexico and Brazil use social media tools at least once-a-month. U.S. and European consumers are far more likely to use social media as a spectator-like sport, joining it and then just watching it fly by.

In the U.S., 68% of social media users are joiners, which means they maintain a profile on a social networking site and visit social networks. Only 73% are spectators, or users who mostly just read blogs, online forums, customer ratings/reviews and tweets, listen to podcasts and watch videos. This number is strikingly similar in Europe (EU-7 countries, to be specific), with 69% of users classified as spectators and 50% as joiners.

Only 24% of U.S. users are content creators and 36% are conversationalists. Those numbers are quite similar in the EU, with 23% classified as content creators and 26% as conversationalists.

In Asia, these numbers look drastically different. Seventy-five percent of online adults in metropolitan China and India create content, which includes publishing blogs and web pages, uploading video and audio/music they made and posting articles or stories that they wrote.

Japanese social media users do not follow the same patterns as Chinese and Indian social networkers. A mere 28% of Japanese users visit social networking sites at least once a month. Only 13% of online Japanese adults visit Facebook on a regular monthly basis. Instead, they prefer sites like mixi or Twitter, which fit their preference for online anonymity.

Asia-Social-Media-chart.jpg

Emerging Social Mobile Markets: China and Africa

Another Forrester report proved that China and other Asia-Pacific countries led the pack in mobile adoption, including mobile social usage and work usage. They were also more likely to own multiple devices. This report showed that in metropolitan China, 33% accessed social networks via mobile, whereas only 25% of U.S. users and 11% of European users did the same. Forrester’s report revealed that Chinese users accessed social sites the most, calling them “super connecteds.”

This study does not include social network usage in Africa, which is only second to China. Toward the end of last year, Facebook partnered with French cell operator Orange to bring inexpensive cellphones armed with Facebook to Africa and Europe.

Facebook is available in 70 languages, and more than 75% of its users are located outside the U.S.

Source: The First World Consumes While The Third World Produces

The Other 1%: People Who Still Use IE6

January 3rd, 2012 01:30 admin View Comments

IE6-logo-150.jpgToday the Internet bids another goodbye to Internet Explorer 6, whose U.S. death is inevitable. New data from Net Applications shows that less than 1% of U.S. Internet users choose IE6 as their browser of choice. And when it comes to the mobile/tablet browser market share, only 0.41% use some variation of Internet Explorer, period. iOS devices come with pre-installed Safari browsers, which make for 53.3% of the mobile browser market. Meanwhile, Opera Mini and an Android browser account for 21.66% and 15.87% of the mobile market, respectively.

Browser trends from Sitepoint showed some IE6 death signs just a month ago, noting that more people browsed the Web on their smartphones than used IE6 and IE7 combined.

IE-6-Usage-2012.jpg

Yet, little more than one year ago, IE6 was still the third most popular browser in the world. At the time, companies were lazily using IE6 as a means of social control – social networking sites were nearly inaccessible through the dinosaur browser. This was all despite the ridiculous security risks it posed. Yet, at the time, the future of IE6 was still up for debate.

Web developers, designers and regular users noticed that IE6 was on the decline earlier last year, with only 2.9% of the U.S. Internet using IE6. At the time, the highest number of IE6 users were located in Asia.

WordPress.com stopped supporting IE 6 last May and YouTube stopped supporting it back in early 2010.

Even Microsoft apologized to developers about that whole “wasting time on building stuff for IE6″ thing. The company began automatically upgrading Internet Explorer on Windows 7, Vista and XP.

Regardless of how you feel about IE6, data shows that the end is near.

Source: The Other 1%: People Who Still Use IE6

IT Survey: Businesses Embrace APIs for Apps Integration, Not Social

December 20th, 2011 12:30 admin View Comments

Mae West (150 sq).jpgIn perhaps one of the more counter-intuitive surveys to be published this year, commissioned by developer tools maker Apigee, a majority of businesses interviewed whose IT departments are currently managing API-intensive development projects say that integration with social networking sites is the least of their concerns.

Though the interview was limited to only 24 companies (leaving some doubt as to whether the sample size is adequate enough), the Web API study published by Hurwitz & Associates shows only 12% (3 firms) registering “expanding to social networking sites” as an important motivating factor for adopting APIs in applications.

111220 Hurwitz survey 01.jpg

Some 82% (20) of the companies interviewed for the report said application integration was among the most important driving factors in their API adoption processes, while 78% (19) cited collaboration with partners as most important, and 61% (15) cited connecting to more devices.

The trend indicated here suggests that although Facebook may be “eating the Web,” as suggested on multiple occasions this year by Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, it may have gotten too full to eat businesses.

Or, as the Hurwitz team puts it, “these companies recognize that providing a quick and easy way for developers to integrate applications leads to a stronger application ecosystem and increased value to customers.” Maybe. Intense study on the subject over the past five years or more from firms such as Forrester confirms that application integration is a key driver for API adoption, but not necessarily for such high and lofty purposes.

As Forrester analysts Ken Vollmer and Noel Yuhanna put it more directly last April, “Enterprises are seeking a lean, mean, and more holistic approach to integration, doing more real-time integration and planning increased usage of enterprise service buses (ESBs) and data services platforms. The need to integrate on-premises apps with software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps is also starting to affect requirements. These trends will affect a wide range of Forrester clients this year and should shape key objectives for planned upgrades or modifications to integration infrastructure and skills.”

In other words, it’s not the need for a nice, shiny ecosystem that’s the problem: It’s the fact that SaaS applications are typically self-contained, and for many businesses, the most expedient way to make them useful with respect to businesses’ long history of existing data, is to build quick-and-dirty scripts and tools for forcing square pegs into rounder holes. Or as Mae West put it, “Goodness had nothing to do with it.”

In a separate question in the Hurwitz survey dealing with the business motivations for adopting APIs, as opposed to the technical factors, 75% (18) of respondents cited the need to connect to more partners as critical, while 65% (16) cited the need to expand their channel strategies. Only 12% (3) said it had anything to do with improving the recognition of their brand – which, if you think about it, is usually one of the factors behind building an ecosystem. That’s another indicator that there’s grittier, more pressing business needs at work here.

Source: IT Survey: Businesses Embrace APIs for Apps Integration, Not Social

YOYOYOOYOYOYO