Tik Tik Tik Tok, BOOM!

I will admit, before writing this blog post, I didn’t know much about TikTok. I knew that it was very popular with young people and that it may have something to do with music or videos.  

Imagine my surprise when I heard Gary Vaynerchuk, an expert in social media and digital marketing, stating in one of his videos that TikTok was one of the most important tools today in social media. I decided to do a little investigating.

What is Tik Tok?

Owned by ByteDance, Tik Tok is a video-sharing social network app on iOS and Android, that allows users to create short videos. It reminds me of the now shutdown app, Vine.

Is TikTok just for young people?

While 41% of the platform users are between the age of 16 to 24 that was probably the intention from the start. Generation Z is expected to amount to 40% of all consumer market by 2020.   

Parent company ByteDance probably understood this from the start and designed TikTok to suit.  

However, this trend might be changing. Since September 2018, the usage of US adults has reached 14.3 million. This increase might be attributed to popular late-night show host Jimmy Fallon introducing a series of challenges hosted on the TikTok platform.

Why Tik Tok might be the next big thing?

Tik Tok was launched in the international market in September 2017 and by the first half of 2018 had an estimated 104 million downloads on Apple’s App Store. 

The app continued its growth in 2019 with Tik Tok being the most installed app in Q1 of 2019. 

Tik Tok now has over 500 million monthly active users that spend on average 46 minutes daily on the app.  

While I am not 100% sure I understand the appeal of TikTok, after looking into the numbers, it is clear that is it not a platform to be ignored. I do plan on doing a bit more investigating in 2020.

Do you use TikTok and do you think it is a useful social media tool?

Facebook; TikTok, that’s what is all about. https://bit.ly/2sn0NTn
Twitter; Vine is dead, long live Tik Tok! https://bit.ly/2sn0NTn

Etiquette Tips to Put You On The Nice List This Holiday Season

The holiday season is already upon us and with it comes holiday posts. This year, get on the nice list by following these tips on social media etiquette.

Silent Night

How often have you heard a notification sound and wondered if it was your phone? Were you able to resist the urge to investigate? Don’t be that family member or guest and put your phone in silent mode and keep your phone out of sight. No one likes to be interrupted during their performance of Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and no one wants evidence of it either.

Get Permission

Families are often front and center during the holidays. With babies, children, and teens around, we must be careful before posting pictures on social media. Some parents are not comfortable with sharing pictures of their children and teens can be selective of what shows up online. With digital kidnapping & cyberbullying constantly in the news, it is not unreasonable to ask for consent before posting.

No Drama, Lhama

Family dinners and spiked egg nog can lead to interesting conversations, however, it can also lead to drama. Every family has its secrets and social media is not the place for it. If you find it challenging to avoid conflict during the holiday season, Psychology Today has a great post on how to deal with family members during the holiday.

Don’t Press the Button

Before pressing that post button do ask yourself if the content is appropriate. The holidays are a great time to relax and have fun but that doesn’t mean that it should be shared online. Do not post pictures of intoxicated people, that include lewd and vulgar behavior or anything that you would not be comfortable showing to your grandmother. Remember, what you post online can reveal a lot about the person you are and you want to be on the nice list.

Be Grateful

Come Christmas day, resist the urge to go on social media to complain about that gift you didn’t like. Instead of focusing on that one gift, try making a general post about how grateful you are this holiday season. This might change your perspective and make you appreciate the gesture.

The holidays will be over as quickly as they came. Don’t get lost in trying to document your holiday and instead choose to be present and experience all the great things this season brings. Spend time with your family and friends without any distractions and remember, be nice.

What are your social etiquette tips for this holiday season?

Show Me Who Your Friends Are and I Will Tell You Who You Are

Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”

As it turns out there is more truth to this than you thought and the repercussions can impact your online privacy.

A study titled Privacy Beyond The Individual which was published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour sought out if it was possible to determine the behavior of individuals based only on the information provided by their friends on social networks. What they found was surprising.

The study found that to complete a profile, researchers only needed access to 8 or 9 friends’ accounts to accurately predict some of the individual’s data. Some of the data that they were able to predict was how the individual was likely to vote in an election or what kind of interests they had. The results were accurate up to 95%.

We all know the importance of evaluating what we post online. This might turn out to be more challenging now that we know people outside our control influence the information a company can gather on us.

This brings up the question, is there such a thing as online privacy?

There doesn’t seem to be a way to be 100% private online but there are some steps we can all take to try and control.

  1. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the privacy settings of the platform. Most social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, have help centers to get you started.
  2. Make sure you only accept Friends’/Followers’ requests from people you know on your personal accounts. If you are unsure about someone use the block function if it is available.
  3. Make sure that you use strong passwords that include numbers, upper & lowercase letters, and special characters.
  4. Set your birth date private on your profile. Having all your friends wish you a Happy Birthday is great but it is also a big security risk. This information could be used to gain access to other accounts.
  5. Always logout when you are done with your session when using a public computer. This will prevent unauthorized access to your account.

What other tips do you have to keep your privacy online?

Throwback Thursday, A Brief History

We have all seen a post with the hashtag #tbt/#throwbackthursday and I will admit, I do enjoy the hashtag a lot. But do you know where it came from?

It started on a blog.

According to Know Your Meme, the term Throwback Thursday was first used as the title for a blog post by Saxton Moore in January 2006. The short post was about an animated series named Super Chicken and included an image of a painting of two of the main characters made by Moore.

Although Saxton Moore was the first to use the term, Sports Illustrated attributes the popularity of the term to a sneaker themed blog called Nice Kicks which made posts, you guessed it, on Thursdays about vintage sneakers. The owner of Nice Kicks, Matt Halfhill came up with the idea for Throwback Thursday in July 2006.

On Twitter, the oldest record for the use of Throwback Thursday was a tweet from user @dawniemom in August 2007. The tweet promoted a blog post which is no longer available.

With the introduction of the hashtag feature in January 2011, Throwback Thursday evolved into #throwbackthursday and #tbt. The first person to “officially” use the hashtag on Instagram was @bobbysanders22, shortly after the feature was implemented. The post was a picture of Hot Wheels cars.

View this post on Instagram

#Hotwheels #ThrowbackThursday

A post shared by Bobby Sanders (@bobbysanders22) on

Bobby Sanders does claim on his profile that he established #throwbackthursday but Phillipe Gonzalez, the founder of Instagram, said that there was no indication that Sanders had started the hashtag. Since Instagram introduced hashtags in January of that year and it can be hard to know for certain who first used #tbt or #throwbackthursday.

Google Trends shows that the hashtag took off in February 2012, where users’ interest in #throwbackthursday and #tbt increased.

Today Instagram has over 509,683,832 posts with the hashtag and is increasing in popularity daily.

From its humble beginning as a title for a blog post to its evolution to a popular hashtag, Throwback Thursday keeps gaining in popularity.

What would you post for #tbt?