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Recent Poll Reveals that 67% Americans Receive their News from Social Media

While Facebook still dwarfs other social media sites in terms of news dissemination, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube made strong gains in the number of people using the sites for news over the course of the last year

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Social Media is the source of news for 67% Americans. Wikimedia
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September 08, 2017: A full 67 percent of Americans now report receiving at least a portion of their news from social media, according to a new poll released Thursday.

The Pew Research poll showed a small increase since early 2016, when 62 percent of people said they relied on social media for some of their news. The overall change isn’t particularly substantial, but among some demographics, social media use increased significantly.

Also Read: Children’s Commissioner for England Warns against Overuse of Social Media among Children

Among non-white U.S. adults, 74 percent now say they get news from social media, marking a 10-percent increase over last year when 64 percent said they did. Similarly, among those aged 50 or older, the percentage who said they receive news from social media rose by 10 percent from 2016 to 55 percent.

While Facebook still dwarfs other social media sites in terms of news dissemination, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube made strong gains in the number of people using the sites for news over the course of the last year.

“Looking at the population as a whole, Facebook by far still leads every other sites as a source of news. This is largely due to Facebook’s large user base, compared with other platforms, and the fact that most of its users get news on the site,” the report reads.

Twitter showed a 15-percent increase in the number of users who said that’s where they get their news, from 59 percent in 2016 to 74 percent in 2017. The number of YouTube users who get news from the site rose from 21 percent in 2016 to 32 percent in 2017. Snapchat showed a 12-percent gain, from 17 percent in 2016 to 29 percent in 2017. (IANS)

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Blind Facebook employee is developing tech for sightless

At Facebook, he works on features to help people with disabilities use the platform.

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A visually impaired Facebook employee is developing technology to make Facebook more fun for the sightless. Pixabay
A visually impaired Facebook employee is developing technology to make Facebook more fun for the sightless. Pixabay
  • A blind Facebook employee is developing AI to make social network for sightless fun
  • He is developing AI which will verbalise images and videos
  • This technology will enable alt-text for images and videos

A blind Facebook employee is developing a technology that will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to verbalise the content of an image or video and enable the visually impaired to “see” and determine appropriate content for people and advertisers.

Facebook engineer Matt King is leading a project that is making solutions for visually impaired people on the platform that could eventually be used to identify images and videos that violate Facebook’s terms of use or that advertisers want to avoid.

Also Read : Facebook might bring Stories on desktop 

This feature will verbalise images and videos for the visually impaired. Image Source: Reuters
This feature will verbalise images and videos for the visually impaired. Image Source: Reuters

“More than two billion photos are shared across Facebook every single day. That’s a situation where a machine-based solution adds a lot more value than a human-based solution ever could,” CNBC quoted King as saying late on Saturday.

King, who was born with a degenerative eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, lost his vision by the time he got his degree and started working at IBM with the tech giant’s accessibility projects.

He worked on a screen reader to help visually impaired people “see” what is on their screens either through audio cues or a braille device. IBM eventually developed the first screen reader for a graphical interface.

He worked with the accessibility team till Facebook hired him from IBM in 2015.

The man behind this development is Matt King.
The man behind this development is Matt King.

At Facebook, he works on features to help people with disabilities use the platform, like adding captions to videos or coming up with ways to navigate the site using only audio cues.

“Anybody who has any kind of disability can benefit from Facebook. They can develop beneficial connections and understand their disability doesn’t have to define them, to limit them,” King said.

Also Read : Facebook Profit Escalates with No Major Impact from Russia and it’s Advertisements

One of his main projects is “automated alt-text,” which describes audibly what is in Facebook images.

When automated alt-text was launched in April 2016, it was only available in five languages on the iOS app. Today it is available in over 29 languages on Facebook on the web, iOS and Android.

Facebook is available in more than 29 languages across the world. Pixabay
Facebook is available in more than 29 languages across the world. Pixabay

“The things people post most frequently kind of has a limited vocabulary associated with it,” the Facebook engineer said.

“It makes it possible for us to have one of those situations where if you can tackle 20 per cent of the solution, it tackles 80 per cent of the problem. It’s getting that last 20 per cent which is a lot of work, but we’re getting there,” he said.

In December 2017, Facebook pushed an automatic alt-text update that used facial recognition to help visually impaired people find out who is in photos. IANS