Fluency Media

Fluency Media

Teens are spending as much on food as clothing.

Hospital Selfies as Therapy

(Warning: some of the images in the following links may not be suitable for everyone)
Self-expression and oversharing come naturally to Millennials – from food and friends to, increasingly, hospital visits. VICE has an interesting article on hospital selfies as a means for patients to deal with life-altering medical events in their lives, from amputations to major procedures. “The idea of sharing trauma, at least for me, is not so much to elicit anything back but just to get it out of me,” Columbia University law student, Alex Blaszczuk, told Vice. Alex suffered a major spinal cord injury in a car accident and uses social media as a means of therapy. ““With medical stuff, people don’t know how to talk about it and don’t know how to start the conversation,” said Noel Day Bishop, who suffers from epilepsy. “Putting it out there [on social media] really helps. It’s really hard to, but it really helps.”

Teens Spending As Much on Food as Clothing

For the first time in the history of Piper Jaffray’s consumer insights project (published semi-annually the last 27 years), teens spent as much money on food as clothing, particularly among higher income families. Quietly, restaurants have displaced malls as places where teens hang out, leading to steep declines in teen mall traffic the last decade and affecting spending patterns. Starbucks, Chipotle, Taco Bell and Noodles & Company are among the top brands with teens in the study.

NFL Players Leverage Social Footprints for Dollars

For the last three years, the NFL Players Association has included a social media component in every deal it reviews. They’re taking the practice a step further with a program called Activate, which acts as a micro-endorsement platform where brands can build endorsement campaigns with NFL players and track real-time data. This makes the process of managing social campaigns with athletes easier, while also opening the door for smaller brands to get into the endorsement game with NFL athletes. It also gives athletes with large social media footprints another asset to use when negotiating contracts with teams or setting up endorsements with brands.

Bonus: 44 Photos of Huggable Babies

Cuteness overload! Have a great week everyone!

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Change Your Passwords. Right Now

The biggest bug of all is upon us. The Heartbleed bug is a vulnerability with OpenSSL, a security protocol used by over 60% of the web and allowing hackers to steal data, eavesdrop on conversations or impersonate users. A security patch has been released, but your current passwords may still be vulnerable. The key social media websites affected are Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and possibly Twitter. Social media managers and anyone with access to brand accounts should change their passwords right away to avoid trouble—including personal Google and Facebook accounts linked to brands.

A full list of passwords to change can be found here.

The Wells Fargo Social Media Command Center

When was the last time you tweeted something positive about your bank? Wells Fargo has established a team of around 20 professionals based in two offices across the country to monitor conversations, respond to customers and create content for the brand. The command center tracks between 2,000 and 4,000 mentions a day, while publishing 16,000 pieces of content in the first quarter alone. Their efforts have already paid off, helping the bank respond to a rumor about instituting fees for domestic direct deposits that was circulating online in mid-January. The corporate communications and deposit team issued a statement on social media and, when the rumor flared up again, the social team already had pre-approved content ready for responses.

Instagram Bigger than Twitter on Smartphones

Twitter trumps Instagram for monthly active users, but when it comes to smartphone use, Instagram is pulling ahead. eMarketer estimates that 30.8 million Americans used Twitter on their smartphones in 2013 vs. 34.6 million on Instagram. They predict that the trend will continue in 2014, with 37.3 million using Twitter on their smartphones, while 40.5 million use Instagram.

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Amazon debuts Fire TV box

Amazon unveiled a new device this week called Fire TV that may look to take a bite out of the business currently owned by Apple TV, Roku and even the Xbox One. Fire TV will stream movies, TV shows and music from users’ Amazon libraries, services like Netflix and Hulu, and apps like Pandora and iHeartRadio.

Shipping for $99, the device includes voice searching, quad-core processor, dedicated GPU, 2 GB of memory, and dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi. Amazon may also be looking to enter the gaming industry with the device. Whether the new device’s popularity will spread like wildfire remains to be seen.

U.S. government created a Cuban Twitter?

The U.S. government may have had a role in using social media to try to create problems for those in charge of Cuba.  The Associated Press reports the a primitive Twitter-like social platform was “built with secret shell companies and financed through foreign banks” and “was created by a U.S. agency with ties to the State Department.”

The network was first set up to gain a popular audience – mainly with younger Cubans – and then stir unrest for the Communist government. The White House has denied knowledge of the program.

April Fools Day: it’s over (finally)

Another April Fools Day has come and gone. It’s a day for cheeky pranks on coworkers, but it’s also (mostly) a day for companies to compete for the most talked about”prank.”  From the good (Sam Adams HeliYum, Google Auto Awesome Photobomb) to the bad (Kickstarter dropping the “e”, Frostbite picking on WiiU) there was no shortage of pranks this year. The cynical or just plain April Fool’ed out may have appreciated Denny’s “prank” the most: a tweet telling everyone the best prank is not doing one.

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Facebook goes shopping, Klout gets sold, and Twitter makes changes | This Week In Social Media

by Fluency Media

Facebook buys Oculus Rift for $2 billion You heard us—Facebook’s buying yet another thing for yet another imaginary-sounding sum of money. Oculus Rift, the company behind a popular virtual reality headset, has been acquired by Facebook in a $2 billion deal. And what is Facebook going to do with a popular virtual reality headset? Who [...]

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Twitter runs some tests, the UN gets happy, and everyone goes mad for March | This Week in Social Media

by Rebecca Woodward

Twitter toys with some changes Stories began to spread on Wednesday that Twitter may eliminate two trademark features—@ replies and hashtags—after it was revealed that the network is testing a version of it’s mobile app that eliminates the ubiquitous @ reply. The news lines up with comments made by Twitter’s Head of News Vivian Schiller [...]

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Healthcare, Wearable Tech and Lady Gaga’s Marketing Budget | This Week in Social Media

by Richard Retyi

SXSW Highlights Healthcare and Wearable Tech Very soon, wearable tech will be a lot more than pedometers and watches counting your steps and keeping track of your heart rate. This week at South by Southwest Interactive, the hot topic of wearable tech and healthcare sketched out what the near future might look like. Implanted or [...]

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Spring Break, Free Photos and Guns | This Week in Social Media

by Richard Retyi

Facebook Says You’ll Break up Before Spring Break Colleges across the U.S. are in the midst of Spring Break season, which is apparently also high period for dumping your significant other. An oldie but a goodie in data visualization showed that, according to Facebook relationship status changes, people like to start Spring Break and summer [...]

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Google Mail, Plus Changes and the Oscars Will Stream Live | This Week in Social Media

by Grant Kenney

Google+ for Android phones gets photo editing funness Android users with Google+ accounts just got a nice upgrade to that app and its use of pictures. The updategives users a variety of new editing options with their photos, including: filters, cropping, rotating, and Snapseed-inspired enhancements (like Drama, Retrolux, and HDR Scape). The basic layout has changed [...]

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Facebook buys WhatsApp, Google plays babysitter, and social media gets a little bit smarter | This Week In Social Media

by Lindsay Blackwell

Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19 Oops—make that $19 billion. NINETEEN BILLION DOLLARS. For an app you’ve never heard of (have you?). Move over, Instagram—turns out your $1 billion deal with Facebook last spring was nothing to write home about. WhatsApp is a five-year-old messaging start-up with an apparent user base of 450 million—claiming to gain [...]

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Twitter Redesign, Klout Pivot and Drowning in the Social Media Pool | This Week in Social Media

by Richard Retyi

81% of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Use Social Media The social media pool is getting more crowded, friends. The question for businesses is no longer “Are we doing social media?” it’s “How well are we doing social media?” A new LinkedIn report found that 81% of small and medium-sized businesses use social media, where a [...]

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