Employees are more productive when they can tweet

This October 24, 2013 AP file photo shows a youth checking his smartphone in Glenview, Ill.

This October 24, 2013 AP file photo shows a youth checking his smartphone in Glenview, Ill.

by Tamim, Riyad

Though it may seem counterintuitive, giving employees time to play around on their smartphones every day could actually benefit businesses, new research suggests.

Even though it might seem like smartphones would hamper workplace productivity — thanks to their ability to make telephone calls, surf the Internet and play games — they might not be the costly distraction companies think they are, according to a study by two members of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, reports Business News Daily.

“Having workers take small breaks on their phones throughout the day may positively influence their perceived well-being at the end of the workday,” said Sooyeol Kim, one of the study’s authors and a doctoral student at Kansas State University.

To better understand what effects smartphone usage had on employees, researchers surveyed 72 workers from various industries in South Korea. They also downloaded a specially designed app to their smartphone that measured the time spent during the workday on their phone and also separated the phone usage into three categories: social media, entertainment and leisure, and personal and informative.

They found a positive relationship between using smartphones to take short breaks for things like texting friends and how employees felt at the end of the workday.

The results also revealed that on days when employees used their smartphones more for social media use, they reported feeling better than when using their phones for entertainment or personal reasons.

“We buy smartphones so we can interact with people,” Kim said. “We use them for social interaction, so I think that’s why social media was shown to make employees the most happy.”

Kim believes the study shows that it can be beneficial for organizations to know the different types of apps and which ones make employees most happy.

“This information tells us what factors are related to happy employees,” he said. “If they are happy with social activities and employers know that, they may want to use the phone for those purposes during microbreaks in the future.”

Kim acknowledged that too much time spent using social media during the day may be harmful to an employee’s productivity.

“I’m interested in knowing how microbreak activities can facilitate both well-being and work engagement,” he said.

The research found that the average combined minutes of usage a worker has on their smartphone during the workday is about 20 minutes. Kim said that, for the most part, anywhere between 20 and 25 minutes doesn’t affect productivity and is good for the employee.

The study, co-authored by George Mason University doctoral student Qikun Niu, will be presented this May at the 29th annual SIOP Conference in Honolulu.

Published: 3:13 pm Saturday, February 22, 2014

Last modified: 11:17 pm Saturday, February 22, 2014

full story: http://www.thedailystar.net/employees-are-more-productive-when-they-can-tweet-12516

In Indonesia, anyone with more than 2,000 Twitter followers can get paid $21 a tweet to advertise

By Christopher Mims

Traffic jams, ubiquitous cellular phones and a celebrity-obsessed culture have made Jakarta the most Twitter-crazy city on the planet. AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana

Jakarta, Indonesia is the “world’s tweet capital,” reports Reuters, where anyone with more than 2,000 followers can get paid at least $21 to tweet during rush hour, when most Indonesians are stuck in traffic and (apparently) glued to their mobiles.

For Westerners, it’s easy to miss just how big Twitter has become in Indonesia; 36% of Americans are on Twitter, but 64% of Indonesians areCorrection: The following chart depicts the proportion of iPhone users who are on Twitter, not the proportion of Twitter users among Indonesia’s entire population. The actual figure is about 19%. Quartz regrets the error.

twitter reach

One reason Twitter is so popular is it’s easily accessible on the kind of cheap phones that are widely available in Indonesia. Indeed, there’s an inverse relationship in countries between iPhone penetration and Twitter uptake.

Update: Here’s a graph showing actual penetration of Twitter by country.

la-sh-twitter-users-penetration-graphic-20131121

Twitter marketing of the kind that’s popular in Indonesia would be illegal in the US, where the US Federal Trade Commission demands that everyone—even bloggers—disclose when they’re being paid to say something. In Indonesia, however, this sort of thing is so common that comedian Ernest Prakasa is open about the fact that he charges brands seven million rupiah ($670) for a package of 10 promotional tweets.

full story: http://qz.com/167756/in-indonesia-anyone-with-more-than-2000-twitter-followers-can-get-paid-21-a-tweet-to-advertise/#/h/41290,1/

Facebook Is Still Copying Twitter—This Time With Its ‘Trending’ Feature

Maybe a character-length limit is next.

by 

Today Facebook announced “Trending,” a new feature that puts a list of trending topics in the top right corner of the News Feed. The company began testing this featurelast fall, and is now rolling it out to a larger audience.

Users in the U.S., UK, India and Australia will begin to see the list of trending topics accompanied by a brief explanation of why they are trending. You can then select any headline to see on-topic posts from people or pages, and those you are connected with will rank higher in the feed.

You may already be familiar with the trending topic feature on Twitter. Trending topics appear as links to the left of Twitter timelines on desktop and under the “Discover” tab on mobile, and when clicked, users can view a timeline of tweets containing the trending word or phrase.

Similar to Twitter, Facebook’s trends are reflective of what’s being talked about on the service and are constantly updating. “Trending” is only available on desktop for now.

This update is the latest in a slew of Twitter features Facebook has implemented in the past. The social network also recently introduced hashtags and embeddable posts, two favored features on Twitter.

One woman in list of top Twitter influencers over 50

Women make up less than a quarter of the list of the most influential over 50s on Twitter compiled by experts PeerIndex, with just one female appearing in the top 20

Gary Linker, Lord Sugar, Simon Cowell and Jeremy Clarkson

Influential older Tweeters, clockwise from top left: Gary Linker, Lord Sugar, Simon Cowell and Jeremy Clarkson

By 

 

Just one woman appears in the top 20 list of the most influential people over 50 on Twitter because men are better at promoting their views, a social media expert said.

 

Diane Abbott, an MP for Hackney north in London, is the first woman to appear on the list compiled by experts PeerIndex, at number 20. The next female is Caroline Lucas, at 23.

 

Dr Cary Cooper, an expert on Twitter, said he was not surprised by the findings as Twitter is primarily used for people to transmit their views, whereas women make better listeners and want to be recognised for what they do rather than what they say.

 

“Men are very ambitious, they want to be out there, they want to communicate their opinions,” said Dr Cooper.

“Women are not as aggressive communicators and are better at listening.”

Dr Cooper said the list, which sees Simon Cowell, Gary Lineker and Lord Sugar in the top three, could show that women in their 50s have been held back in their careers, by the “glass ceiling effect.”

But he added: “Twitter is a form of networking and men are better networkers than women, which in a way may be holding women’s careers back. If women had more self confidence or were better networkers they would probably be better influencers.

“Women want to achieve success by the job that they do, not by being a good networker.”

However, Dr Cooper said he thinks the way we use Twitter is changing, with it becoming more of a conversation, which could see women excel and hold higher places on the list over the next ten years.

Most of the top ten includes well known figures in sport, business and television. But Marcus Chown, a cosmologist who writes for New Scientist, also appears at number five on the list.

With considerably less followers than Simon Cowell and Lord Sugar, who both have followers in their millions, Chown has a more modest 18,500. However, Dr Cooper said it is not about how many followers people have, but more to do with what they say and how people react to it.

He added: “At the top of this list there are three very ambitious men, all very good communicators. They know how to use social media and the media itself.

“With Marcus Chown you have to consider he is tweeting things about science, which people are interested in at the moment and he also writes for the media. This is just another extension of that media.

“Celebrities have a lot of followers but you will get some people in this list of influencers who people are retweeting because they are conveying information.”

In the list of the 60 most influential people on Twitter, aged 50 and over, just 14 women appear. George Galloway appears at position 15, well above Nigella Lawson – who is in 59th place.

full story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/social-media/10535883/One-woman-in-list-of-top-Twitter-influencers-over-50.html

 

Vine Introduces Full Profiles On The Web And TV Mode For Full Screen Viewing

by  (@panzer)

Today, Twitter’s Vine has announced full web profiles for all of its users, something it has lacked until this point. It has also introduced a new TV Mode that lets you watch videos in full screen on your computer.

You can view videos, browse users’ back catalogue and interact with them on the web. This includes viewing your home feed, liking, commenting and sharing videos.

The profiles are roughly similar to those offered by other social services like Instagram, and should offer easier browsing of multiple Vines on the web. Previously, you could look at one video at a time but there was no way to jump from that video directly to a user’s other work on the web — but you could on the mobile app. This strikes us as a move made to support Vine creators — the segment of the app’s users that have made a craft out of the six-second clips.

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 11.55.41 AM

Vine had announced plans to create web profiles late last year, and offered reservations for custom URLs ahead of the launch. They’re now rolling out to all users.

This is not a full version of Vine for the web, as you can’t record videos with your webcam, but it does offer an easier way to give people access to all of your published Vines.

The new TV Mode is quite enjoyable, though it plays through your videos one after another, rather than looping. Given that loops are one of the core creative tools of Vine, I’d love to see a toggle that let you loop a video until you were done watching it. But there are ‘back and forward’ buttons and keyboard arrows work for this as well.

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 11.57.27 AM

More to follow…

full story: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/03/vine-introduces-full-profiles-on-the-web-and-tv-mode-for-full-screen-viewing/

Twitter’s latest experiment lets you favorite users on Android

Does Twitter have bigger plans for the Favorite button?

By Ellis Hamburger

twitter favorite account b

Twitter’s experiment with promoting its Favorite button seems to have worked, and now it’s looking to see what else the button can do. The company’s latest experiment involves letting users favorite accounts — not just tweets — and can be found inside the most recent version of its Android app. Favoriting an account won’t do much just yet, but it will begin sending you push notifications whenever that person tweets. The new experiment was originally spotted by Yahoo’s Drew Olanoff.

Twitter already offers push notifications for tweets, albeit buried inside a menu on user profiles. But the company has frequently experimented with re-launching features, and favoriting is likely no different. Most recently, Direct Messages were resuscitated as one of Twitter’s most prominent features after having long been regarded as an afterthought. Favoriting an account isn’t being positioned quite as front-and-center just yet though: for better or worse, turning on push notifications or favoriting a user’s account doesn’t show up in that person’s Connect tab like favoriting a tweet of theirs would.

AS WITH MOST TWITTER EXPERIMENTS, FAVORITING ACCOUNTS COULD DISAPPEAR ENTIRELY

As with most Twitter experiments, favoriting accounts could either disappear entirely or eventually expand and make its way to the iPhone. At that point, it could have the same utility as it does today, or do something new. The feature could potentially allow you to show off your favorite accounts on your profile, CNBC’s Eli Langer speculates. “Allowing a user to showcase their favorite accounts — if that is indeed the direction Twitter is taking — on their own profile by favoriting other accounts is the #FollowFriday on steroids,” he writes. This kind of feature recalls MySpace’s divisive “Top 8,” which let users pick their favorite friends to display on their profile. Chinese Twitter competitor Sina Weibo offers a similar feature to this too, giving users a way to highlight accounts that they like, The Next Webpoints out.

Like the @-reply and the retweet, Twitter’s Favorite button came to life as users saw fit. Now it may be up to Twitter to lead users toward where it should go next, but figuring that out is no longer much of a risk: the Twitter of 2013 uses tiny micro-experiments to test out its new feature ideas, using user feedback to help it figure out what should stay, what should go, and what should be tweaked. Some of those features could turn into the next retweet, while others may fall from the nest like discarded eggs.

Twitter beware — Instagram’s the really hot property

Twitter and Instagram appeal to the same audience and are used by a similar percentage of online adults, says a new Pew Research survey.

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. (Credit: James Martin, CNET)

Twitter has a major Instagram problem, based on the latest findings from a new survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project.

The older social network for sharing 140-character updates is neck-and-neck with the Facebook-owned photo application when it comes to their respective audiences. Pew found that 18 percent of online adults now use Twitter, while 17 percent of online adults now use Instagram, and both applications have nearly identical audiences.

“Twitter and Instagram have particular appeal to younger adults, urban dwellers, and non-whites. And there is substantial overlap between Twitter and Instagram user bases,” Pew concluded in its report published Monday.

The research firm surveyed 1,445 Internet users ages 18 and up between August and September of 2013 and found that nearly three-quarters, or 73 percent, of online adults are social networkers. Unsurprisingly, Facebook remains the commanding service and counts 71 percent of online adults as users, which is up from 67 percent at the end of 2012.

(Credit: Pew)

What is particularly troubling for the newly public Twitter, and its investors by association, is that Instagram users are more active than Twitter users. Around 57 percent of Instagram users visit that service at least once per day, and 35 percent do so several times per day. In comparison, 46 percent of Twitter users are daily visitors with 29 percent visiting multiple times per day, Pew found.

Pew’s findings support the theory that Twitter and Instagram are direct rivals, and underscore why there is residual bad blood between the two services. Twitter unsuccessfully tried to buy Instagram before it was snatched up by Facebook. Since then, the entities have sparred at the expense of their users.

Theoretically, Twitter and Instagram can co-exist with overlapping audiences that use both services — just not peacefully. Twitter, in particular, is in the position of needing to goose revenue to appease its investors. The company spelled out in its prospectus that its most important assets are influential users — aka celebs — and its Interest Graph, or the map of all the people, connections, and interactions on Twitter. This map is what makes Twitter valueable to advertisers, and its value will erode if Instagram can make similar ties and keep its audience more engaged.

Also worth noting is that earlier this month, Nielsen ranked Instagram higher than Twitter on its Top 10 list of smartphone applications. On smartphones, Instagram has an average monthly audience of 32 million people, while Twitter’s monthly audience is 30.8 million people, Nielsen determined. Instagram also proved to be the fastest-growing app of the year, growing its audience 66 percent year-over-year.

Should these trends continue, Instagram could become more popular than Twitter and more attractive to advertisers in the new year.

full story: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57616365-93/twitter-beware-instagrams-the-really-hot-property/

73% of US online adults use social networks; 71% use Facebook, more than LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter combined

By 

Almost three-quarters of US adult Internet users (73 percent) now use a social networking site. Furthermore, some 42 percent of online adults in the country now use multiple social networks.

The latest figures come from Pew Research Center’s Internet Project. Unsurprisingly, Facebook continues to lead the pack:

BF74B1154F1F4BACB6F786C8A3D7AE72 73% of US online adults use social networks; 71% use Facebook, more than LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter combined

What may be surprising to some, however, is that more Americans who are online use Facebook than the next three most popular social networks. While Facebook has a 71 percent penetration rate, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter combined add up to just 61 percent.

Pinterest managed to gain the most percentage points, moving up from 15 percent to 21 percent between 2012 and 2013, and passing Twitter to grab third place, placing just behind LinkedIn. Facebook and the Facebook-owned Instagram both gained 4 percentage points while LinkedIn and Twitter gained 2 percentage points.

Pew noted that while Facebook manages to remain popular across a diverse mix of demographic groups, it still leaves quite an opening for other sites to develop their own unique demographic user profiles. Put simply, Facebook is for everyone and everything else is for everyone else.

Pinterest continues to appeal to female users (women are four times as likely as men to be Pinterest users), and LinkedIn is especially popular among college graduates and Internet users in higher income households. Meanwhile, Twitter and Instagram have particular appeal to younger adults, urban dwellers, and non-whites.

Yet Facebook isn’t just the most popular social network: it also has high levels of engagement among its users. 63 percent of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day, with 40 percent doing so multiple times throughout the day.

While Instagram and Twitter have a significantly smaller number of users, their users also tend to visit them frequently. 57 percent of Instagram users visit the site at least once a day (35 percent do so multiple times per day), and 46 percent of Twitter users are daily visitors (29 percent visiting multiple times per day).

Pew’s study was conducted between August 7 and September 16 by surveying 1,801 Americans aged 18 and older. The organization pegs the margin of error at plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for the total sample and 2.9 percentage points for Internet users.

You can read the whole 17-page report here: Social Media Update 2013 (PDF).

Top Image Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/GettyImages