McDonald’s needs more than a bunch of Millennials doing social media

[photo via Facebook]

[photo via Facebook]

A headline in the WJS this week piqued my curiosity. “McDonald’s Turns to Social Media to Draw Millennials: Fast-food chain recently hired 200 people to bolster its digital efforts and win back young adults.” Julie Jargon writes that McDonald’s is beefing up its corporate digital marketing team in hopes that this fresh team of 20-something’s will revitalize slumping sales among younger consumers with their magic social media wands. I found no press release regarding the digital hiring boom but clearly this article was pitched by a P.R. firm to garner coverage implying that this new endeavor is going to help McDonald’s get a bigger bite from the Millennial market.

How is it that, in 2016, one of the world’s largest and most valuable brands is just now realizing the importance of a strong digital team? This pivot by McDonald’s represents a prime example of ineffective corporate culture that Unilever CMO Keith Weed calls a generation of marketers leading business today who are bluffing about their knowledge of the digital landscape. Maybe that’s a reason why, at the same time the company is on-boarding Millennials in droves, a number of senior executives are leaving.

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Hackers Steal More Than 4 Million Users’ Info From Snapchat

Snapchat

 

If you use Snapchat you may want to check and see if your user name and phone number was stolen by hackers, as CNN and other news media are reporting a major data breach of the mobile app. Those hackers then posted a database sharing the information for some 4.6 million users online. There is a way to check and see if your info was stolen from this website put up by Gibson Security.

CNN is reporting the hack was seemingly intended to urge Snapchat to tighten its security measures.

“Our motivation behind the release was to raise the public awareness around the issue, and also put public pressure on Snapchat to get this exploit fixed. It is understandable that tech startups have limited resources but security and privacy should not be a secondary goal. Security matters as much as user experience does,” the hackers said in a statement to technology blog TechCrunch.

News Use on Social Media Platforms: New Study From Pew Research

The Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project released a new report today, which analyzes the role of news across social media platforms. Researchers found the level of news consumption varies considerably on different social networking sites —roughly half of Facebook and Twitter users get news on those sites while only a fifth of YouTube users do so.

The report also looks at the demographics of different social networking sites; how many people engage with news across multiple social sites; and social media users’ news consumption habits on traditional platforms. Research was conducted by Jesse Holcomb, Jeffrey Gottfried and Amy Mitchell in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. They analyzed the characteristics of news consumers and the size of their population across 11 social networking sites.

“News plays a varying role across the social networking sites.1 Roughly half of both Facebook and Twitter users get news on those sites, earlier reports have shown. On YouTube, that is true of only one-fifth of its user base, and for LinkedIn, the number is even smaller. And Pinterest, a social pin board for visual content, is hardly used for news at all,” the report shows. [Read more…]

Twitter Can Boost TV Ratings, New Research Finds

TwitterNew Nielsen Research Validates That Tweets Can Influence Tune-in Rates While TV Programming Drives Twitter Activity

Today Nielsen released findings, which, for the first time, provide statistical evidence of a two-way causal influence between broadcast TV tune-in for a program and the Twitter conversation around that program. Nielsen’s Twitter Causation Study included time series analysis to determine if Twitter activity drives increased tune-in rates for broadcast TV and if broadcast TV tune-in leads to increased Twitter activity. This latest study follows research released earlier this year that quantified the correlation between TV ratings and Twitter. [Read more…]

Facebook is bigger than TV networks, Nielsen Report Says

Facebook-logo-1817834.png

According to the first major study by Nielsen, the company that has been monitoring TV consumption for decades, Facebook attracts more 18- to 24-year-olds during prime-time viewing hours than any of four major television networks. Data collected shows that in the area of demographics and viewing, the largest social networking site is the favorite source of entertainment in that demographic (who would normally watch television during prime time hours in the past).

“Established as a bastion of direct response advertising and long considered the home for niche audiences, online has lagged behind other media, namely TV, as a channel for broadly messaged, brand advertising. The emergence of far-reaching publishers like Facebook, however, means that marketers now have another option for reaching consumers en masse. Likewise, the availability of true cross-screen metrics enables them to understand how digital can reinforce and complement their TV investment,” the report authors say. [Read more…]

Is Anybody Listening? Facebook Users Underestimate Personal Reach, Study Finds

Facebook Admit it: every time you post something on Facebook, you hope it will get “likes” or comments from your friends. In a previous blog I wrote about a study that found using online social networks can have a positive effect on self-esteem and well-being, especially for those who have high levels of attention (likes and comments) on posts deemed ‘life events’ by the social platform.

Have you ever felt disappointed by the lack of attention from your friends on Facebook? When you post something and it gets no attention from friends in the form of likes or comments, does it make you think nobody saw it? The average Facebook user has very little information about who actually sees their content, and a new study from researchers at Stanford University addresses the seemingly invisible audience when there is low reaction to a post. The study was conducted in tandem with Facebook’s data science team, which looked at 220,000 users over the course of a month. They discovered that Facebook users drastically underestimate the size of their general audience by a factor of three, with “Facebook users reaching 35% of their friends with each post and 61% of their friends over the course of a month.” Researchers found that social media users consistently underestimate their audience size for their posts, guessing that their audience is just 27% of its true size.

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Tweet all about it — Twitter can’t replace newswires, study shows

twitter-journalism

News agencies continue to have an edge over Twitter in being first with the news, a new study shows. Research into reporting of news events by Twitter and newswire services has found that while Twitter can sometimes break news before newswires, for major events there is little evidence that it can replace traditional news outlets.

Twitter’s main benefits for news are bringing additional coverage of events, and for sharing news items of interest to niche audiences or with a short lifespan, such as local sports results.

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Social Media Influence on TV Examined by New Study

social TV influenceConsumers’ interaction with social media in relation to their television viewing is relatively modest compared to other forms of communication and lags behind other online media, TV promotions and, especially, offline communication, according to a new study. Only 12% of respondents use social media  one or more times per day concerning TV.

However, the number jumps to 37% using social media one or more times per week – suggesting growth potential for social media as an influence on TV viewing. Half of these respondents report viewing TV concurrently with using social media. The research also identified several groups who are highly connected to social media and television, and who represent an important opportunity for marketers. These are among numerous findings from an extensive, multi-pronged study, entitled  “Talking Social TV,” to help determine how social media interaction impacts television viewing.

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Study: Facebook Helps First-Generation College Students

Facebook and college studentsFacebook connections can help first-generation college applicants believe in their abilities to both apply to school and excel once they’ve enrolled, according to a new study from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

“We are very excited by these findings, because they suggest that the kinds of interactions supported by Facebook and other social media can play a role in helping young people, especially those who are traditionally less likely to go to college, feel more confident about their ability to get into college and to succeed there,” said Nicole Ellison, associate professor at the U-M School of Information.

First-generation applicants might not come into contact on a daily basis with people who support their interest in college or who can answer questions about it, Ellison said.

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Study: Facebook may improve self esteem but negatively affect motivation

Facebook Study New research suggests that looking at your Facebook profile can be both psychologically good and bad for you.

A Facebook profile is an ideal version of self, full of photos and posts curated for the eyes of family, friends and acquaintances. A new study shows that this version of self can provide beneficial psychological effects and influence behavior.

Catalina Toma, a UW-Madison assistant professor of communication arts at UW-Madison, used the “Implicit Association Test” to measure Facebook users’ self-esteem after they spent time looking at their profiles, the first time the social psychology research tool has been used to examine the effects of Facebook. The test showed that after participants spent just five minutes examining their own Facebook profiles, they experienced a significant boost in self-esteem.

The test measures how quickly participants associate positive or negative adjectives with words such as me, my, I and myself.

“If you have high self-esteem, then you can very quickly associate words related to yourself with positive evaluations but have a difficult time associating words related to yourself with negative evaluations,” Toma says. “But if you have low self-esteem, the opposite is true.”

[Read more…]

Coming soon: Twitter Nielsen TV Ratings

Nielsen and Twitter today announced an exclusive multi-year agreement to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” for the US market. Under this agreement, Nielsen and Twitter will deliver a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter, slated for commercial availability at the start of the fall 2013 TV season.

“The Nielsen Twitter TV Rating is a significant step forward for the industry, particularly as programmers develop increasingly captivating live TV and new second-screen experiences, and advertisers create integrated ad campaigns that combine paid and earned media,” said Steve Hasker, President, Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen. “As a media measurement leader we recognize that Twitter is the preeminent source of real-time television engagement data.”

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Survey Shows Small Businesses Investing More in Social Media, But Juggling Resources

VerticalResponse announced the results of an exclusive survey on how much time and money small businesses spend on social media. The company surveyed 462 small businesses on how much time they spend on social media activities, including finding and sharing content on popular social networks and blogging, and what tasks take the most time. VerticalResponse also inquired about marketing budgets.

The data are compiled in a social media infographic (with social sharing enabled and embed code) and reported below.

“Our survey confirms that small businesses are understanding the value of social media,” said Janine Popick, VerticalResponse CEO/founder. “They’re spending more time doing it, and investing more money into it at a faster rate. But the extra work will likely lead to time management issues, especially for the small business owner who’s handling social media on top of all the other responsibilities of running a company. This implies that small businesses are in need of tactics and tools now to help them save time.”

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Study: nearly half of U.S. consumers today actively seek customer service through social media

According to a new study from NM Incite, the leading social media consumer insights provider and joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey, nearly half (47%) of U.S. social media users today actively seek customer service through social media (a.k.a., social care). Revealing new data about how customers perceive and engage in social care, NM Incite’s study uncovers that nearly one in three social media users (30%) prefer to reach out to a brand for customer service through a social channel compared to the phone, marking a dramatic shift in how people expect customer service from the brands they engage with.

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Social Sentiment Differs From Media Regarding Debate, Pew Finds

Social media came to a much different initial verdict about the first presidential debate than did the early polls and the conventional press, according to an analysis of the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and blogs by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

On both Twitter and Facebook, the conversation was much more critical of Mitt Romney than it was of Barack Obama. And when the criticism of one candidate and praise of another are combined, the conversation on Twitter leaned Obama’s way. On Facebook it was something of a draw.

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What Not to Tweet if You’re Looking for a Job

 

Facebook, CNN Unveil ‘Election Insights’

CNN and Facebook today unveiled the Facebook-CNN Election Insights. This tool displays the real-time number of people talking about President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan.

Facebook-CNN Election Insights – found at CNN.com/FBinsights– displays dynamic, real-time charts and visualizations using Facebook Insights to gauge the volume of Facebook activity surrounding the election and candidates. CNN will use the tool, which also allows people to view data by geography and demography, during their coverage of the presidential election.

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CNN & Facebook Partner to Create ‘Social Experience’ During Election Coverage

CNN, America’s “most trusted source of news and information for the 2012 presidential campaign” and Facebook have partnered to offer America’s Choice 2012, an interactive and uniquely social experience for CNN’s on-air, mobile and online audiences and Facebook’s more than 160 million U.S. users.

In this partnership, Facebook and CNN are teaming up to take the pulse of the American electorate and amplify the voices of the social site’s users as they share their thoughts and feelings on candidates and critical issues facing the country ahead of Election Day. This innovative multi-platform partnership will include:

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Facebook Names Sheryl Sandberg to Board of Directors

Facebook announced today that Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook, has joined the company’s board of directors.

Sandberg oversees Facebook’s business operations including sales, marketing, business development, legal, human resources, public policy and communications.

“Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook in a company press release. “Her understanding of our mission and long-term opportunity, and her experience both at Facebook and on public company boards makes her a natural fit for our board.”

“Facebook is working every day to make the world more open and connected,” Sandberg said. “It’s a mission that I’m deeply passionate about, and I feel fortunate to be part of a company that is having such a profound impact in the world.”

Prior to Facebook, Sandberg was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, where she built and managed the online sales channels for advertising and publishing and operations for consumer products worldwide. She previously served as Chief of Staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton and began her career as an economist with the World Bank. She received B.A. and M.B.A degrees from Harvard University.

Sandberg also serves on the boards of The Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, the Center for Global Development and V-Day.

Along with Sandberg, Facebook’s current board members are: Mark Zuckerberg; Marc L. Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz; Erskine B. Bowles, president emeritus, University of North Carolina system; James W. Breyer, Accel Partners; Donald E. Graham, chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company; Reed Hastings, chairman and CEO, Netflix; and Peter A. Thiel, Founders Fund.

Study: In Spite of its popularity, Americans skeptical of social media

13th Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll Shows Opportunities for Businesses and Political Leaders, But Authenticity and Openness Are Key

Americans believe participation in social media makes them more informed and influential as both consumers and citizens, even as they express clear skepticism about the trustworthiness of the information they find there, according to poll results announced today by The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) and National Journal.

The 13th quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll explored how Americans incorporate social media into their consumer and community behaviors. Its findings reveal important themes about trust and influence, even as leaders in the public and private sectors increasingly use social media to engage consumers and voters.

Nearly two out of three American adults surveyed used social media in the last month. Although social media users are somewhat younger, more educated and more affluent than non-users on average, they closely align with the overall American public in their opinions about politics and the economy, as well as their perceptions of major institutions.

However, social media users report significantly higher levels of political and community activity, including volunteering for a community organization (69% of social media users versus 49% of non-users), signing campaign or community petitions (68% of users versus 50% of non-users), or attending a campaign rally (32% of users versus 22% of non-users). Social media users also are more likely to consult with others about buying a product or service (79% of users versus 60% of non-users) or change their minds about a product or service because of others’ opinions (64% of users versus 47% of non-users).

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Thirty-Seven Percent of Companies Use Social Networks to Research Potential Job Candidates, Study Shows

Hiring managers share why they screen with social media, and explain what they’re looking for in candidates’ profiles

With the pervasive, worldwide adoption of social media, job seekers know that the all-important first impression is potentially made well before the first interview. But just how many hiring managers browse social media profiles, and what type of information are they hunting?

Nearly two in five companies (37 percent) use social networking sites to research job candidates, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder. Of the employers who do not research candidates on social media, 15 percent said their company prohibits the practice. Eleven percent report they do not currently use social media to screen, but plan to start.

The nationwide survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from February 9 to March 2, 2012, included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

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How do TV and social media mix? New study shows social media penetrating airwaves

Social media is showing signs of connecting with TV viewers as nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. consumers surveyed recall seeing social media symbols such as Facebook “Likes” while watching television, according to an Accenture study. Moreover, one in three viewers (33 percent) have interacted with social media after seeing a social media symbol on their TV screen.

Accenture conducted this survey of U.S. television viewers to better understand the public’s perception of social media symbols that appear during programming and how effective they are. The survey found that among the 1,000 viewers surveyed, the majority said they had noticed and were also familiar with how to interact with social media symbols while watching TV, including the Facebook “Like” symbol (42 percent), QR codes (28 percent), Twitter Hashtags (18 percent) and Shazam symbols (9 percent).

One-third (33 percent) of those surveyed said they had actually interacted with the symbols while watching TV by “liking” the TV program on Facebook (20 percent), scanning a QR code (11 percent), searching for the Hashtag on Twitter (7 percent) or scanning the Shazam symbol (5 percent).

“Social media and social networking are exploding across television screens as networks use social media to enable audiences to interact directly with related content for a richer viewing experience,” said Robin Murdoch, Accenture’s global Internet segment managing director. “This has huge revenue growth potential as social media applications build program viewer loyalty and drive online advertising opportunities.”

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New Social Media Study: Significant Increase in Use of Social Media for Job Searching, Networking by Healthcare Professionals

The second annual survey on “Use of Social Media and Mobile by Healthcare Professionals” released today by AMN Healthcare shows significant increase from the prior year’s results in use of social media by job-seeking healthcare professionals. According to the results of the 2011 survey, physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists are networking with colleagues, tracking down job leads and applying for new positions at a significantly higher rate year-over-year.

The social and mobile media survey provides healthcare employers and leaders a snapshot of how clinicians have increased their use of social media and mobile devices for networking, job hunting and other career development activities.

As healthcare professionals continue to migrate to the larger social networking sites, opportunity exists for employers to move into social recruiting and sourcing of physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists. Job candidates spent more time on social media sites and/or on mobile devices in 2011 and reported an increase in securing interviews, job offers and positions through the use of mobile job alerts.

Susan Salka, AMN’s president and chief executive officer, said, “We are not surprised that healthcare professionals continue to adopt social media as a mainstream method for job searching. Our innovative social and mobile methods have been successful in connecting job seekers to opportunities. We plan to continue reporting on significant changes and new, innovative opportunities affecting healthcare professionals and their careers.”

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‘Socially Engaged’ Companies See 4X Greater Business Impact, Study Finds

Companies that fully embrace social engagement are experiencing four times greater business impact than less-engaged companies, according to a new study conducted by PulsePoint Group, a management and digital consulting firm, in collaboration with The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The research identifies six types of socially engaged enterprises and provides insights for organizations that want both to measure themselves against peers and find the right strategy for improving business and economic impact from their investments in social engagement.

“We believe this research is essential to assure companies that their investments in social engagement can be rewarded, provided they do it right,” said Paul Walker, a partner with Austin-based PulsePoint Group.

“We felt this was an opportune time to conduct this research and to focus on C-suite executives, because it is clear that there is a growing list of high-performing companies that are achieving superior economic returns from the use of social engagement with key internal and external constituents,” Walker continued. “We believe we are seeing an inflection point at which many organizations are moving from an experimentation phase with social technologies to achieving tangible and measurable returns on the investments. Most notably, they are achieving enterprise-level scale that is impacting marketing and sales efficiency, increased sales and market share, and speed to market with new products. ”

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National Study Ranks City Governments’ Use of Social Media

More than six times as many big city governments reached citizens via Facebook in 2011 compared to 2009, while use of YouTube and Twitter grew fourfold and threefold respectively, a new study indicates.

Karen Mossberger, head of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s public administration graduate program, and Yonghong Wu, associate professor, analyzed and ranked the online interactivity, transparency and accessibility of the country’s 75 largest cities from March through May 2011. They used the data to compile the Civic Engagement Index, and compared it with their findings from a study they conducted in 2009.

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New Study Finds Facebook and Twitter Symbols Subconsciously Influence Online Buying Decisions

The display of a social media icon such as a Facebook “Like” button or a Twitter symbol on a shopping website increases the likelihood that consumers will buy some products, and reduces the likelihood that they will buy others. That is a key finding of a study conducted by the University of Miami School of Business Administration, Empirica Research, and StyleCaster Media Group as part of the State of Style Report.

The study found that consumers who saw a social media icon near a product that might embarrass them were significantly less likely to buy that product than those who saw the same product without the icon. On the other hand, consumers who viewed products they would be proud to show off were significantly more likely to buy than those who saw the same product with no such icon.

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New Study: Most Facebook users receive more from their Facebook friends than they give

Most Facebook users receive more from their Facebook friends than they give, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center that for the first time combines server logs of Facebook activity with survey data to explore the structure of Facebook friendship networks and measures of social well-being.

These data were then matched with survey responses. And the new findings show that over a one-month period:

  • 40% of Facebook users in our sample made a friend request, but 63% received at least one request
  • Users in our sample pressed the like button next to friends’ content an average of 14 times, but had their content “liked” an average of 20 times
  • Users sent 9 personal messages, but received 12
  • 12% of users tagged a friend in a photo, but 35% were themselves tagged in a photo

“The explanation for this pattern is fascinating for a couple of reasons,” noted Prof. Keith Hampton, the lead author of the Pew Internet report, Why most Facebook users get more than they give. “First, it turns out there are segments of Facebook power users who contribute much more content than the typical user.

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Inc. 500 Continue to Embrace Social Media and Add New Tools According to 4th Annual Benchmarking Study

Eighty-three percent of these companies are active with Facebook, Twitter, Blogging or other social media platforms.

The adoption of blogs by the Inc. 500 has increased by 5% over last year. Meanwhile, there has been explosive growth in the use of Twitter and Facebook by these companies. These were among the key findings of the latest benchmarking study conducted by Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Research Chair of the Society for New Communications Research.

The new report is the outcome of a statistically valid study of the 2010 Inc. 500 list. The study examined these institutions to quantify their adoption of social media tools. This is the fourth year that Barnes has tracked social media usage by this sector, and it is the only methodologically sound longitudinal study of its kind with every company in the Inc. 500 included.

The research shows that:
Social networking continues to lead the way:

  • 71% have corporate Facebook pages
  • 59% have corporate accounts on the relatively new Twitter
  • 50% have a public facing corporate blog
  • 44% say Facebook is the single most effective social networking platform they use

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American Express Launches “Social Media Show + Tell” to Help Small Businesses

Members of American Express’ New LinkedIn User Group, Business Knowledge Share, Can Get Free Tips, Strategies Directly From Insiders at the Top Social Media Platforms

Courtesy of American Express, small businesses now have a brand new resource available to help them grow and succeed through social media. Officially launching today, “Social Media Show + Tell” resides within American Express’ newly created Business Knowledge Share enhanced LinkedIn user group. Through a series of “show and tell” videos available to members, representatives from the most popular digital and social platforms — starting with Facebook — explain how their tools can have a formidable impact on small businesses and empower business owners to maximize the potential of the growing digital landscape.

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Teens, kindness and cruelty on the social web

The majority of teen social media users find online social networks to be “mostly kind” spaces, yet 88% have witnessed mean or cruel behavior there.

15% of social media-using teens say they have been the target of mean or cruel behavior on the sites.

Parents and peers serve as the most important influences and sources of advice on online safety issues.

As social media use has become pervasive in the lives of American teens, a new study by Pew finds that 69% of the teenagers who use social networking sites say their peers are mostly kind to one another on such sites. Still, 88% of these teens say they have witnessed people being mean and cruel to another person on the sites, and 15% report that they have been the target of mean or cruel behavior on social network sites.

Adult social network users are less likely to say they witness or experience this type of behavior, but they still report that it is prevalent: 69% of the adults who use social networking sites say they have seen people be mean and cruel to others on those sites.

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Google+ Arrives Amidst Social Media Fatigue

Gartner Survey Highlights Consumer Fatigue with Social Media

There are signs of maturity in the social media market, as some users in certain segments are showing “social media fatigue”, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. The survey reveals continued localization of usage, whereby certain country-specific social characteristics dictate preferences. However, large global brands such as Facebook are making headway in countries where they have not historically been strong. Gartner surveyed 6,295 respondents, between the ages of 13 and 74, in 11 developed and developing markets in December 2010 and January 2011. Consumers were asked about their use of and opinions about social media sites with the aim of examining usage trends and how enthusiastic users were about social media in general across a range of countries.

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