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Facebook Losing out to YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat Among US Teens

Most notably, smartphone ownership has become a nearly ubiquitous element of teenage life

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The content-sharing platform is also adding a tool, thus, allowing creators to add or remove non-skippable advertisements in bulk. Pixabay
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YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among US teenagers today, pushing Facebook, which once dominated the social media landscape, to the fourth position, according to a new survey.

Today, roughly half (51 percent) of US teenagers between ages 13 and 17 say they use Facebook, notably lower than the shares who use YouTube, Facebook-owned Instagram or Snapchat, showed the Pew Research Center survey results released on Thursday.

While 85 per cent teenagers use YouTube, 72 per cent use Instagram and 69 per cent use Snapchat, showed the survey conducted between March 7-April 10 this year.

Notably, lower-income teenagers are more likely to gravitate toward Facebook than those from higher-income households.

Facebook is reportedly going down in comparison to other apps.
Facebook is reportedly going down in comparison to other apps. Pixabay

Seven-in-ten teenagers living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use Facebook, compared with 36 per cent whose annual family income is $75,000 or more, the results showed.

Interestingly, girls were more likely than boys to say Snapchat is the site they use most often, while boys were more inclined than girls to identify YouTube as their go-to platform.

This shift in social media use of teenagers is just one example of how the technology landscape for young people has evolved since the Pew Research Center’s last survey of teenagers and technology use in 2014-2015.

Most notably, smartphone ownership has become a nearly ubiquitous element of teenage life.

Fully 95 per cent of teenagers in the US have today access to a smartphone, and 45 per cent say they are online “almost constantly”, the results showed.

The shares of teenagers who use Twitter and Tumblr are largely comparable to the shares who did so in the 2014-2015 survey.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The survey also found there is no clear consensus among teenagers about the effect that social media has on the lives of young people today.

Minorities of teenagers describe that effect as mostly positive (31 per cent) or mostly negative (24 per cent), but the largest share (45 per cent) says that effect has been neither positive nor negative, the survey showed.

It also revealed that while a majority of both boys and girls play video games, gaming is nearly universal for boys.

Also Read: Report: Twitter Users Who Joined Before Age 13 Facing Ban

Overall, 84 per cent of teenagers say they have or have access to a game console at home, and 90 per cent say they play video games of any kind – whether on a computer, game console or cellphone.

While a substantial majority of girls report having access to a game console at home (75 per cent) or playing video games in general (83 per cent), those shares are even higher among boys.

Roughly nine-in-ten boys (92 per cent) have or have access to a game console at home, and 97 per cent say they play video games in some form or fashion, the results showed. (IANS)

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Facebook Set up a War Room to Fight Election Interference

With the new ad architecture in place, people would be able to see who paid for a particular political ad

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Facebook
Facebook now has a War Room to fight election interference. Pixabay

In line with its efforts to prevent misuse of its platform during elections, Facebook has set up a War Room to reduce the spread of potentially harmful content.

Facebook faced flak for not doing enough to prevent spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts during the 2016 US presidential election. The social networking giant has rolled out several initiatives to fight fake news and bring more transparency and accountability in its advertising since then.

The launch of the first War Room at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, is part of the social network’s new initiatives to fight election interference on its platform.

Although Facebook opened the doors of the War Room ahead of the general elections in Brazil and mid-term elections in the US, it revealed the details only this week.

The goal behind setting up the War Room was to get the right subject-matter experts from across the company in one place so they can address potential problems identified by its technology in real time and respond quickly.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

“The War Room has over two dozen experts from across the company – including from our threat intelligence, data science, software engineering, research, community operations and legal teams,” Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook’s Director of Product Management, Civic Engagement, said in a statement on Thursday.

“These employees represent and are supported by the more than 20,000 people working on safety and security across Facebook,” Chakrabarti added.

Facebook said its dashboards offer real-time monitoring on key elections issues, such as efforts to prevent people from voting, increases in spam, potential foreign interference, or reports of content that violates our policies.

The War Room team also monitors news coverage and election-related activity across other social networks and traditional media in order to identify what type of content may go viral.

These preparations helped a lot during the first round of Brazil’s presidential elections, Facebook claimed.

The social networking giant said its technology detected a false post claiming that Brazil’s Election Day had been moved from October 7 to October 8 due to national protests.

While untrue, that message began to go viral. But the team quickly detected the problem, determined that the post violated Facebook’s policies, and removed it in under an hour.

“And within two hours, we’d removed other versions of the same fake news post,” Chakrabarti said.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

The team in the War Room, Facebook said, also helped quickly remove hate speech posts that were designed to whip up violence against people from northeast Brazil after the first round of election results were called.

“The work we are doing in the War Room builds on almost two years of hard work and significant investments, in both people and technology, to improve security on Facebook, including during elections,” Chakrabarti said.

Earlier this month Facebook said that it was planning to set up a task force comprising “hundreds of people” ahead of the 2019 general elections in India.

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“With the 2019 elections coming, we are pulling together a group of specialists to work together with political parties,” Richard Allan, Facebook’s Vice President for Global Policy Solutions, told the media in New Delhi.

Facebook has also set a goal of bringing a transparency feature for political ads — now available in the US and Brazil — to India by March next year, Allan informed.

With the new ad architecture in place, people would be able to see who paid for a particular political ad. (IANS)