Instagram Becomes the Fastest-Growing Social Site

Recent PEW research shows Pinterest has passed Twitter in popularity, but a new report suggests Facebook-owned Instagram is growing the fastest of all social media sites worldwide.  GlobalWebIndex cites that Instagram has grown by 23 percent in the last six months. In terms of active usage and account ownership, Instagram ranks as 6th after Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The survey is based on responses from some 170,000 users across 32 countries. Although Facebook is currently the world’s most popular network, U.S. President Obama recently acknowledged that Facebook isn’t as popular with teenagers and young adults anymore.

When it comes to social networking websites, 66 percent of users say they’re using mobile devices to access them.

With Instagram’s popularity, the BBC is experimenting with Instagram video delivering headlines in 15-second videos.


Over 300 Western Australian sharks are now on twitter

The Surf Life Saving Western Australia (SLSWA) is using their Twitter feed to put a new, internet-savvy spin on wildlife conservation. The project uses radio transmitter tags on sharks combined with proximity monitors to report on shark movement near human-populated beaches.

A tagged shark within a certain radius of the monitor triggers a tweet informing beachgoers, helping to improve safety for both man and marine beast.


Image courtesy of Allan Lee via flickrcc

Currently, 338 sharks have been tagged with radio transmitters including a significant number of the more dangerous tiger shark and great white shark species. The tweet states the breed and estimated size of the shark along with an approximate location. The Twitter also broadcasts shark alerts reported from other sources, such as helicopter sightings.

The system is reported to be much faster than traditional radio warnings, and allows lifeguards to shut down beaches in a timely manner with a minimum of panic and disruption.

As a bonus, the Twitter occasionally posts raw images of sharks and other marine wildlife in their natural environment off the Western Australian coast.

Twitter Rolls Out New Rules, Threats Continue

Twitter is cracking down on abusive tweets and threats; however, threats to women still continue on the popular social media website. British Journalists India Knight and Laurie Penny were some of the latest high-profile women who’ve received threats.

Twitter has implemented a list of changes in response to complaints that it wasn’t doing enough to combat hate speech, particularly against women. They’ve also hired extra staff to handle abuse reports.

This comes after gender politics in England erupted on Twitter. Activist Caroline Criado-Perez won a campaign to add “Pride and Prejudice” author Jane Austen on 10-pound notes. Criado-Perez faced threats of rape and violence on Twitter immediately after. One man was arrested in Manchester, England and several accounts were suspended.
Twitter Threat - Laurie Penny

Twitter’s Senior Director of Trust and Safety division Del Harvey said that people deserve to feel safe on Twitter. A “report abuse” button has been added on some mobile versions of Twitter and said it will be available on others and on the web in the coming month.

“We want people to feel safe on Twitter, and we want the Twitter Rules to send a clear message to anyone who thought that such (behavior) was, or could ever be, acceptable,” wrote Harvey and Twitter UK general manager Tony Chang in a blog post.

Twitter’s old policy required users to contact the website’s online help center to report or flag any threatening messages.