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Social Media Stars
The latest on the social media stars that are changing this sector, the platforms and the posts...
The latest on the social media stars that are changing this sector, the platforms and the posts...

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How Facebook's Latest Changes Impact Influencers And The Future Of Social Media Marketing

Once again, Mark Zuckerberg shook up the world last week when he announced Facebook will change its algorithm to promote more personal content rather than news. Soon after my inbox was flooded with headlines like:

“Facebook Shares Fall”, “Facebook Is Changing”

“Zuckerburg’s Net Worth Has Just Taken A 2.9 Billion Dollar Hit.”

Since obsessing about Zuckerburg’s net worth has never yielded positive results for me, I instead called over our Social Media Strategist, Thomas Drew, to discuss the current social media environment. Our conclusion was this: What’s bad for businesses is good for Influencers. With new regulations on data (see GDPR) and less material from media outlets and businesses organically making Facebook users feeds, the stock of Social influencers will continue to rise. Let’s dive a little deeper to understand how this affects the full ecosystem, whether you’re a business, influencer, or marketer.

The social landscape is a world in which businesses and brands are made ‘cool’ in a much shorter time period than we’re used to with traditional media. With the right strategy, Influencer partnerships, and tactics, you can move the needle for your business on far more than just sales and engagement. Companies like Aesthetic Revolution, GymShark, and Daniel Wellington are multi-million dollar businesses built from leveraging Instagram tactics, Influencer partnerships, and flawless sales funnels. On the other hand, Social is also a place where fake news can get the most shares and engagement, especially on Facebook. In an effort to curb this, Zuckerberg is willing to risk short-term user engagement on his platform for more interactions with friends and family.

Since Instagram’s algorithm is beginning to mirror Facebook’s more and more, expect to see more organic content from people, and less from brands and businesses in 2018. What must be noted during this change is that Influencers are, and have always been people first, and content marketers second. Every influencer, no matter what the niche, has their own content style that, for whatever reason, resonated with their audience and caused that audience to explode. These influencers and their audiences will garner even more attention with their organic content, while similar, non-paid content from businesses and brands will suffer.
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TRUMP-ACTION HOT MUM Meet the gun-toting ex-military mum delighting the American Right with her workouts in stars and stripes bikinis
Infitdel, the Wisconsin-born 25-year-old vet has taken the internet by storm after serving six years in the US Air Force. She regularly posts risque work-out snaps to her 135,000 followers on Instagram
The mum of two boys aged two and eight months claims she never intended for her Instagram to blow up the way it did.

But now her posts are viewed by more than 135,000 followers who she delights with regular stars and stripes-inspired gym snaps.

She said: “My service matured me. It showed me where my weaknesses were and what I needed to work on. It showed me what my strengths were as well.

“My service in the military is what ignited my burning, uncontrollable passion to help others with their health and fitness goals.
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ONLINE GRAVEYARD How social media companies keeping up dead people’s profiles makes it impossible for relatives to deal with grief – with 50 million on Facebook alone
It's a bleak thought, but our Facebook pages and YouTube comments all have a good chance of outliving us - creating a huge online record of our lives which will endure long after our bodies are dead

FACEBOOK serves as a graveyard for an estimated 50 million people, with three million more Facebook users - at the very least - dying every year.

The social media site dwarfs the world's biggest cemetery, Wadi-us-Salaam in Iraq, which is the final resting place of a mere five million people.

It's a bleak thought, but our Facebook pages and YouTube comments all have a good chance of outliving us - creating a huge online record of our lives which will endure long after our bodies are dead.

And as social media grows and matures, more and more accounts will turn from cheery markers of people's lives to digital tombstones, zombie profiles which keep shuffling through cyberspace.

Just because someone is dead, it doesn't mean you won't get notifications when it's their birthday or see them pop up in your feed as suggested friends, bringing back jarring, painful memories and serving as a record of every detail of their lives.

Professor Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, author of Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, explained the heartbreaking human aspect to this very 21st-century problem.
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How fashion influencer and KOL #

PeterXu is changing social media in China
Fed up with taking selfies and editing photos of himself to fit in with the trend of looking flawless, Xu is ditching the shallow content that permeates China’s social media fashion channels and adopting a more long-term view

Peter Xu’s ascent to Chinese fashion stardom is not quite the conventional tale. He started as an aspiring rapper and celebrity English language teacher before becoming a successful fashion influencer across multiple online platforms. He eventually became recognised as a key opinion leader (KOL) in the industry, with 1.5 million followers on Weibo.

“When I was a full-time blogger, around 2012 to 2015, I did a lot of selfies and very edited pictures of myself, but I hated it,” Xu explains as we sit inside a popular Japanese restaurant in Shanghai’s former French Concession. “In the China market, people prefer flawless looking guys, these xiao xian rou or ‘little fresh meat’. I didn’t like this shallow content, this one-dimensional showing off. I want to show all the sides of fashion. My plan is to work in this industry until I’m in my 70s because I love it.

Today, it’s not uncommon for China’s most successful social media fashion stars to make millions of yuan a year from brand-sponsored posts, collaborations and some e-commerce sales. But just like the rest of the world, the first generation of social media influencers in China are still figuring out how to transfer fame built on youth and good looks into something with more longevity. Few manage to build successful new businesses as they move away from focusing on their cult of personality.
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The allure of social media fitness influencers like Ashy Bines

With the perfect hair and makeup, and all that constant inspiration and positivity, Ashy Bines seems like the perfect personal trainer. The Gold Coast-based bikini model sells the dream of the perfect body and makes it seem easy. Just follow the programme, get the clothes, use the shampoo and take the supplements.

As a health and wellness professional, I feel inadequate when I see images of Ashy. I'm not as bubbly, extroverted or well-groomed. I don't wear makeup when I workout and I can't even see my abs.

The problem with Ashy and other similar social media influencers is their message of conformity. According to them, it's a certain body type that's desirable or 'healthy' (the one they have). We should all be striving for this, and their one-size-fits-all approach is easy, affordable and will work for everyone. It's a tempting message if you're young and self-conscious.

We know, deep down, these images are not realistic or achievable for most of us, that having the 'perfect' body won't make us happier. But that doesn't stop us from buying into the dream.


* What makes Ashy Bines attractive to young women, is precisely the thing that should make us think twice about trusting her - she has no qualifications in health, nutrition, or wellness. Women find this 'inspiring' - here's an ordinary person, just like them, who's approachable, shares her journey and looks amazing. It's easy to start thinking if she can do it, so can we.

* We're social creatures - we all want to be part of a community. And social media makes this so simple. You can tune into Ashy sharing her story daily, get to know and trust her and then she's inviting you into her tribe. In an age when many of us are struggling to make meaningful connections, here's an easy way to find acceptance and community.

* The promise that you too can be like her - the confidence, celebrity and influence. She's selling a dream and appealing to our vulnerabilities with inspirational, motivational sound bites and images. You'll find lots of wannabe Ashy Bines' on Instagram - maybe without the commercial empire behind them, but heaps of girls share their perfect life, body, food and exercise in the hopes of becoming Insta-famous. They may not express this desire, it most likely comes dressed as a want to 'educate and empower other women about healthy living and body confidence'.

Maybe Ashy Bines is just someone with an accidental empire that's gotten out of hand. She's done an extraordinary job building a brand, identifying her market and selling her message. What she has failed in is customer service, maintaining relationships and shown lack of judgement in some of her opinions and posts.

On social media, everyone's an expert, and somehow our consumer brain is still catching up with the concept this is just another form of advertising. Before we pour our trust and money into something we must do our due diligence.
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Elizabeth Hurley Is Our Instagram Queen Of The Week

Sure, Elizabeth Hurley is not a fresh face in the world of Hollywood but let’s be clear: the 52-year-old’s sexy snaps easily outshine some of the hottest Millennials out there! That’s why we’ve chosen Liz as the Instagram Queen of the Week! She proves that age truly is just a frame of mind with a steady supply of smoldering bikini selfies. And let’s not forget those chance moments when she let’s fans in on her bold style choices!

Not only is Liz our Instagram Queen, she’s also our Bikini Queen because this woman flat know how to rock a skimpy bathing suit! And, unlike the rest of humanity, her amazing features seem to be just getting better with time! So why shouldn’t she flaunt her unbelievable body!? Also, what’s this gorgeous Brit’s secret?! Regardless, Liz’s stunning fashion and svelte figure are definitely an inspiration!

But garnering thousands of fans on Instagram takes more than just good looks, it also takes confidence and a charming demeanor. All of which Elizabeth has in spades! She’s not always frolicking in a two-piece in photos. Sometimes she’s curled up on the couch in a robe or lounging on the set of her E! show The Royals, but she’s always got the best attitude! Clearly Liz is having fun and her playful sense of humor is impossible to ignore!
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She's not afraid to show off her enviable post-baby body on her Instagram feed, flaunting her curves to her 391k followers.

And Love Island star Cally Jane Beech continued to set pulses racing as she posted a throwback snap of her Ibiza getaway, complete with mountainous views and beautiful blue skies.

The 26 year-old reality starlet, who spent an extended weekend away on the sun drenched island, shared the saucy snap with the caption: 'Take me back where the sun is shining'.

The TV stunner knows how to work a bikini, showing off her tantalisingly toned physique in a risque monochrome bikini, with the top knotted at the centre to draw attention to her ample cleavage.

She showcased her washboard abs in the sensational snap, with the tied bikini thong resting elegantly on the tops of her hips.

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Mark Zuckerberg lost $3.3billion after Facebook stock fell by 4.5 percent thanks to his decision to see less advertising in users' News Feeds
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the world’s largest social media network, lost $3.3billion off his net worth on Friday
Facebook shares fell 4.5 percent on Friday after the closing bell on Wall Street
Zuckerberg’s decision to prioritize posts from family and friends over brand-driven content on Facebook’s News Feed has cost him a small fortune
Zuckerberg, who began the day worth $77.8billion, is now worth $74billion, according to Bloomberg
That means Spanish retail billionaire Amancio Ortega has now leapfrogged Zuckerberg to take fourth place on the list of the world’s richest people
Changes will mean a family video clip will be prioritized over company posts
Zuckerberg said it would be better for users and for the business in the long term
But the market appears to disagree with the CEO's assessment

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Facebook Inc Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter Inc Chief Executive Jack Dorsey will step down from the Walt Disney Co board of directors in March.

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, Disney said both Sandberg and Dorsey are not standing for re-election at the annual meeting scheduled for March 8, due to conflicts relating to matters before the board.

"Given our evolving business and the businesses Ms Sandberg and Mr Dorsey are in, it has become increasingly difficult for them to avoid conflicts relating to board matters," Disney said in a statement.

Orin Smith, the 75-year-old lead independent director, and Robert Matschullat, 70, also won't stand for re-election because of term and age limits for board members.
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The vital time you shouldn’t be on social media

This month, BBC Future is exploring social media’s impact on mental health and well-being – and seeking solutions for a happier, healthier experience on these platforms. Stay tuned for more stories, coming soon…

Share your tips for a happy life on social media with the hashtag #LikeMinded on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Today’s teens and tweens have built up an impressive amount of daily screen time. Figures put it at between six to eight hours a day for 11-15 year-olds, and that’s not including time spent on a computer for homework. In fact, even the average UK adult spends more time looking at a screen then they do sleeping, according to one analysis.

It starts early. A third of UK children have access to a tablet before they are four.

It’s no surprise, then, that today’s youngest generations will be exposed to (and no-doubt join) the social networks their elders already use. Snapchat, for instance, is extremely popular among teens. One December 2017 survey found that 70% of US teens aged 13-18 use it. Most of those questioned also have an Instagram account. Figures are similar in the UK.

Over three billion of us are now registered on a social network, many of us on more than one. We spend a lot of time there - US adults spend an average of 2-3 hours a day.

This trend is now exposing some worrying results and, staying hot on the heels of social-media’s popularity, researchers are interested in the impact it is having on many aspects of our health, including sleep, the importance of which is currently gaining unprecedented attention.

So far it does not look good. We’re now coming to terms with the fact that social media has some clearly negative impacts on our sleep and with that, our mental health.

Ever since the meteoric rise of social media, Brian Primack, director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh, has been interested in its impact on society. Along with Jessica Levenson, he examines the relationships between technology and mental health, looking at the good and the bad.

When considering a link between social media and depression, they expected there to be a dual effect – that social media might sometimes alleviate depression, and sometimes exacerbate it, results which might plot out nicely in a “u-shaped” curve on a graph. However, a survey of almost 2,000 people revealed something much more surprising. There was no curve at all, the line was straight, and in an undesirable direction. Put another way, an increase in social media is associated with an increase in the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and a feeling of social isolation.

“In an objective way, you might say: this person is interacting with friends, passing on smiles and emojis, you might say that person has a lot of social capital, that they are very engaged. But we found those people seem to have more feelings of perceived social isolation,” says Primack.

What is unclear, however, is the exact causal direction: does depression increase social media use, or does social media use increase depression? Primack suggests it could be working both ways, making it even more problematic as “there’s a potential for a vicious cycle". The more depressed a person is the more social media they might then use, which worsens their mental health further.

Thoughts and feelings come back to haunt us as we try go to sleep

But there’s another worrying impact. In a September 2017 study of over 1,700 young adults, Primack and colleagues found that when it comes to social media interaction, time of day plays a fundamental role. Engagement during the last 30 minutes before bed was found to be the strongest indicator of a poor night’s sleep. “It was completely independent of the total amount of time of use in the day,” says Primack.

Something about keeping those last 30 minutes tech-free, it seems, is crucial to a restful slumber.

There are several factors that could explain this. A now well-told caution is that the blue light emitted from our screens inhibits our melatonin levels – a chemical that effectively tells us that it’s time to nod off. It could also be possible that social media use increases a person’s anxiety as the day goes on, making it hard to switch off when we finally go to bed. “Then thoughts and feelings come back to haunt us as we try go to sleep,” says Primack. Or a more obvious reason might be that social media is deeply alluring and simply reduces the time we have for sleep.

We know that physical activity helps people sleep better. More screen time is also likely to reduce time spent for physical activity, a link that has been established by research. “It induces more sedentary behaviour during the day. If you have a smart phone in your hand, you won’t be swinging your arms as quickly or moving your legs. If you add that up over six months, you may have a new generation who are not moving as much each day,” says Aric Sigman, an independent lecturer in child health education.

If social media use is exacerbating anxiety and depression, it could then, in turn, impact sleep. If you lay in bed awake comparing yourself to other people’s posts ranging from #feelingblessed, #myperfectlife to air-brushed holiday snaps, you might well believe that your life is somewhat drab in comparison, which could make you feel worse and keep you up.

And so it seems there is a merry-go-round of interrelated issues at play. Social media is linked to increased depression, anxiety and sleep deprivation. And a lack of sleep can both worsen mental health and be a result of metal health issues.

A lack of sleep has other side-effects: it has been linked to an increased risk of heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, poor academic performance, slower reaction times when driving, risky behaviour, increased substance use… the list goes on.

What’s worse is that when it comes to sleep deprivation, it’s usually young people who are most adversely affected. That’s because adolescence is a time of important biological and social changes that are critical to development.

We should all ring-fence particular times throughout the day in which we can distance ourselves from our screens

Adolescents also take longer to build up what’s called a “sleep drive” – which is the drive that helps you to fall asleep the longer you have been awake, explains Jessica Levenson, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. This contributes to teens in particular having a harder time falling asleep at night, she says.

Levenson now worries that social media use, and the literature and research around it, is growing and changing so quickly, that it is difficult to keep up. “It’s our responsibility to explore the impacts, good or bad,” she says. “We are just starting to cover the impact of social media use. Teachers, parents and paediatricians need to be asking teens: how often? When? How do they feel when using it?”
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