Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- 80% of Children Access the 'Net Weekly
- Security Wins: Twitter Adds HTTPS Option
- Justin Bieber and Manchester U. Have Most Active Facebook Fans
- More Americans Get News Online versus Newspapers
80% of Children Access the 'Net Weekly
According to a new report from an educational non-profit, nearly 80% of children ages 0-5 access the Internet on a weekly basis. The report goes on to show that children at an increasingly younger age are using digital media, in some cases consuming more than one type at a time. More kids watch TV and do so for longer, but online use is growing at alarming rate.
Most young children spend around three hours a day watching TV, with preschoolers watching more TV than in the last 8 years. Of the time spent on media, TV accounts for 47%. Also, kids are mirroring their parents who consume web media and TV media simultaneously, with 36% of kids aged two to eleven who report using both media simultaneously.
One note, more screen time does not mean less reading time, as some 90% of 5 to 9 year olds are reporting at least one hour every day of reading old-fashioned books, the same as years prior.
Security Wins: Twitter Adds HTTPS Option
If you are active on the major social networking sites, you should be aware of a security hole that has been apparent for a few months now. Because of how Twitter, Facebook and other sites such as eBay and Amazon work, it's possible to hijack a session on these sites when using open Wi-Fi access points at coffeeshops, airports and the like.
In response, many sites, now including Twitter, have implemented an easy change that makes it impossible for hackers to hijack your session in this manner -- by enabling HTTPS, which merely implements the same secure technology you utilize when logging into your bank or Paypal site. Now Twitter users can use enable HTTPS using a preference in the settings panel.
Without this setting, it's possible for anyone using a simple program assume your session and emulate you on sites such as Twitter, eBay, Amazon, Facebook and many others. Are you now more likely to utilize secure sessions to help protect your online identity?
Justin Bieber and Manchester U. Have Most Active Facebook Fans
It turns our teenagers and rabid football (soccer) fans have something in common: they are the most active and engaged on Facebook. This is according to FanGager, a research firm who used the APIs of Twitter and Facebook to track social activity and brand engagement. The service found that a few pages had the right blend of reach and engagement -- with a list of the top 100 coming out today.
While Bieber has more than 20 million fans, this number isn't all that matters. FanGager found that encouraging a core group of loyal and active fans on a daily basis is a key factor, and this is what Bieber's page has attracted. In terms of other popular pages, Bieber is followed by Texas Hold 'Em Poker, TV Show Glee, Barack Obama and the band Black Eye Peas.
What engages you regarding brands on Facebook? Having a notable brand helps, but constantly pumping out quality content helps, as well as having other commenters who enliven the conversation. It seems Bieber, Obama and the other top pages have found the right balance to build engagement on Facebook, which is hard to do for most commercial entities.
More Americans Get News Online versus Newspapers
When news happens, which source do you look to first? Do you turn on the TV, pick up your radio, or turn on your computer and go online? More and more, mainstream folks are going online for their news, according to analysis firm Pew Research. According to the study, newspapers saw a decline in revenues, readership and newsroom jobs.
Also, 46% of Americans report that they go online at least three times per week, surpassing newspapers (40%). The only source more popular than the Web is local TV news, with 50% of Americans saying it fills their source of news on a regular basis. Pew also reported that 2010 was the first year that online ad spending outpaced newspaper ad spending. To this end, online ad spending was up 14% while newspaper ad spending was down 6.4%.
In many circles, the customization allowed with online news reading is a huge asset. With specialized sources, news seekers can find items of general interest and niche topics that general newspapers and even TV news cannot provide. It also makes sense that ad dollars would flow to these same directions where advertisers can reach a valuable targeted audience.