Ready to Retire? Instagram or Twitter?

The question I will attempt to answer is: Can Instagram act as an equally suitable social media platform as Twitter when it comes to athletes announcing their retirement?

The athlete and his retirement I have chosen to evaluate is Rob Gronkowski on March 24, 2019 (even though he has since come out of retirement). We will be estimating the number of people that received the news of his retirement through Instagram versus Twitter. Unfortunately, likes on a tweet are given away less generously than they are on Instagram, therefore we cannot use this as a measure. But just as an FYI, Gronkowski’s retirement tweet had 115k likes and his Instagram post had 1.4 million.

Tweet by Rob Gronkowski via Twitter (follow him @RobGronkowski)

Twitter and Instagram are the two most significant social media platforms when it comes to sports news. Typically, athletes reserve their statements for Twitter because of its newspaper resemblance. But in recent years, Instagram could have potentially emerged as an equally viable option for athletes’ announcements, especially retirements.

A tweet can spread a message faster than any other platform can because of the concept of retweets. The ripple effect of retweets can spread news to millions within minutes. People can see the tweet, like it, retweet it, and potentially share their own thoughts on the subject.

On Instagram, the only way for a post with an included announcement can spread on a large scale is through Instagram’s “add post to your story” feature. People can see a post from an athlete they follow and share the post to their story for others to view, even if they don’t follow the athlete.

In other words, Instagram can spread an announcement from person to person at an exponential rate without the help of a sports broadcaster, just like Twitter can. Whether or not Instagram can spread news faster than Twitter becomes a question of how often is the “add post to your story” feature used. Unfortunately, the answer is that it’s way less used than retweets are. There is no way of measuring the number of shared posts on a story on Instagram, but Twitter counts its retweets, and the number can sometimes reach the one million mark, something Instagram could never replicate.

Post by Rob Gronkowski via Instagram (follow him @gronk)

However, one last factor works in favor of Instagram: it has triple the amount of active users than Twitter does. So my question to you is: where Instagram lacks in reshares, can it make up in sheer volume of users? In other words, perhaps the number of people that saw Gronkowski’s retirement announcement was greater on Instagram than it was on Twitter simply because more people are on Instagram.

Gronkowski chose Instagram as the first place to announce his retirement and later tweeted his message a full day later. Perhaps he wanted to include the cool photo of himself holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy and Instagram emphasizes photos. Or maybe he wanted to use more than 280 characters in his message, which he went well beyond (1606 characters). But if you were a famous athlete, would you chose to announce your retirement on Instagram or Twitter? And would your option reach more people than the other option would?

Are You an Athlete Ready to Retire? Instagram or Twitter?
Which is the Best Platform for Athletes to Announce Retirement?

Donating “Gifts” to streamers?

Image result for virtual gifts
Photo by Alicia Crupi via Paragon Events

Those of you who are addicted to TikTok (like myself) have probably noticed how popular the live streams are on your “for you” page. Most of the live streams I’ve encountered are just people sitting in their room doing nothing except reading questions from the comments out loud, and answering them. TikTok users live stream in order to entertain their followers, and they’ve continued this because it does, in fact, grab the attention of their audience members.

What happens next blows my mind: people watching the live streams donate “virtual gifts” to the live streamers.

The gifts are a type of currency on TikTok. They represent a sticker that is shown on screen, along with your username, for the streamer and everyone watching the stream. The gifts must be purchased with coins, which need to be bought with real money, of course. Later on, these gifts can be converted back into real money for the live streamer to claim.

So in other words, people are gifting anywhere from $0.07 to $70 to their content producers with hopes to be recognized by the streamer and potentially get a shoutout.

Photo by Arch via TechJunkie

TikTok got this idea from Twitch, a live streaming platform for gamers. Twitch would give consumers the option to donate money to their favourite gamers as they watched them play video games.

This whole concept seems pretty ludicrous, except it became popular enough for Twitter to begin crafting their own version of user donations in a crowdsourced video system as a new revenue strategy. Kurt Wagner (follow him on Twitter: @KurtWagner8) said, “…it’s become a popular business model for companies hoping to help creators make money from their fans or followers. Twitter would take a cut of the transactions.” And, of course, the companies he is referring to are Twitch and TikTok.

Crowdsourcing does, in fact, have great stories, especially the ones involving GoFundMe. Crowdsourcing for serious causes can sometimes change people’s lives and always work for the greater good. However, when it comes to gifting live streamers with money in order for them to continue streaming, I believe people are putting money in the wrong places.

My opinion may be completely different from yours because this topic is dependent on how engaged each of us are in social media. Do you think user donations on social media platforms are justified? I personally don’t think they are because, from what I’ve seen on my social media, the reasons people are donating are: they find the person attractive, they support the person being open about their sexuality, or they think the person is funny. Almost all streams I come across are of young people sitting in their rooms alone on their phone, and watching people gift them money, instead of donating to some of the causes on GoFundMe, doesn’t sit right with me.

Is Donating Gifts to Live Streamers Justified?
Would You Donate “Virtual Gifts” to Streamers?

The Credit Goes to TikTok

Question: Which brand new social media platform is now responsible for startup companies becoming huge overnight successes, without even costing those companies a nickel? You guessed it.

Photo by Cottonbro on

TikTok‘s short video concept is extremely popular today because users can post a viral video, no matter their number of followers. The more likes a video gets, the more screens it will appear on. This continues until the video snowballs into thousands of likes. Small businesses recognize this opportunity to become an overnight success, and hop on the TikTok bandwaggon.

For instance, Max and Loui Borelli created a new non-alcoholic beverage, and credit their success to their TikTok video. One of their videos publicizing their product went viral. Simple as that. Stephanie Massoti from CTV News (follow her on Twitter) interviewed Louis, and he said, “People Magazine and the New York times came to us. They found out about our website organically. We haven’t spent a dollar on advertising yet.”

Screen grab of a drink made by the Borelli brothers on Tik Tok. (source CTV News)

Another example is Reid Simkovitz’s product called the Scruffie, which is a multi-use razor blade designed to shave the back of a man’s neck. Once again, his viral TikTok video is responsible for his huge success, which led to his product being sold out almost immediately after.

Is your company becoming an overnight success really that easy? Because not only is publicizing your product on TikTok extremely effective, but it’s also free. Will there even be a need for paid advertisements on television, billboards, or even social media platforms if this model continues to grow? Because why would you pay to have your product advertised at the start of your “For you” page on TikTok, when you can simply create an account for your company and post your videos for free?

How Your Business can Become an Overnight Success
The Credit Goes to TikTok for Companies’ Overnight Success

How Funny Politics Can Be

American’s on social media love to poke fun at their politics, and it doesn’t take much for a simple picture, video, or news report to flood the internet. For instance, during his handover of power, Donald Trump supposedly left a note for Joe Biden at the White House. Following this announcement, Americans took to social media and flooded it with their takes on what could’ve been written on that note, and the results were hilarious.

via Tweet by @AdamJFloodEsq

Nowadays, a popular way of getting likes and retweets is by making memes. Simply put, memes are photos or videos gone viral on social media and the internet because of its humour. There are countless examples of American politicians featured on memes, and the most popular meme so far this year is Bernie Sanders at the Inauguration ceremony. It is a photo of him sitting in a lawn chair cross-legged, wearing a coat and mittens, clearly freezing in the cold. People creatively photoshopped him into backgrounds and forefronts of countless well-known photos, and each one seems to be funnier than the previous one.

“Comedy is a uniter that evens out the playing field. It relieves stress and tension, and it’s truly the best medicine” said Judy Gold of CNN (follow her on Twitter) Especially during these difficult times, memes on social media have been a real positive energy output, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Politics are a serious matter, yet we as a society have found a way to make it seem humorous and more enjoyable.

Why is American politics such a large meme pool? Is it because people actively try to lighten the mood on politics, which is otherwise a serious matter. Or maybe because it’s easy to make fun of Donald Trump and his behaviour? Either way, there is an endless amount of it on all social media platforms for people to enjoy.

How Funny Politics Can Be
How Funny Politics Can Be