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Social media platforms launch new protective measures for Tokyo Olympians

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Instagram has rolled out new measures to protect athletes ahead of the Tokyo Olympics

123RF.COM/Stuff

Instagram has rolled out new measures to protect athletes ahead of the Tokyo Olympics

Instagram, via its owner Facebook, has launched new measures to keep Olympians heading to the Tokyo games safe online.

Athletes can now have dedicated “athlete accounts”, keeping their personal life and sporting life separate, and “hidden words” for direct messages, which automatically filters out words, phrases and emojis that are deemed offensive.

The new safety features were shown to potential Olympians – including New Zealand athletes – at an online forum hosted by Facebook last week.

RNZ

RNZ’s podcast The Detail: Changes to your Facebook’s news feed have sparked questions about the company’s algorithm.

New Zealand and Australia have been part of the “first wave” of countries to receive the “hidden words” roll out, Joyee Biswas, Facebook’s Asia Pacific head of sports partnerships, said.

The social media session followed a special report by Stuff that found social media is “100 per cent” contributing to anxiety, fatigue and body image issues athletes are dealing with.

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Biswas said the social media platforms take abuse directed at athletes “and indeed anyone incredibly seriously” and such abuse is against their guidelines.

While the social media platforms do allow “more critical commentary of public figures… like athletes”, the platforms are removing “severe attacks” against them.

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Between January and March 2021 it removed more than 33 million pieces of “hate speech” globally, with more than 93 per cent “removed before anyone reported it to us”, Biswas said.

Action is taken against the person who sends the abuse. That can include preventing them from using direct messaging or disable the abuser’s account.

Amongst the fatigue being reported by athletes, is the pressure to post on social media. At last week’s session, Facebook recommended athletes post “one touch point” per day while at the Olympics.

Ashley Abbott said there is no expectations on athletes to post of social media during the Olympics.

Phil Walter

Ashley Abbott said there is no expectations on athletes to post of social media during the Olympics.

Ashley Abbott, New Zealand Olympic Committee’s communications director said there is no expectation from the NZOC on the Olympians to engage with social media.

“Athletes can choose to post as much or as little as they like, all we ask of them is to make sure they work with their team or coach to ensure it doesn’t impede on performance, or their wellbeing,” she said.

She said social media has led to athletes being connected with fans, but also carries “significant risks.”

“Emotional and performance pressures can be heightened and athletes may be exposed to online abuse,” she said.

“…we highlight the benefits of social media, but also how to think more carefully about how managing the impact of posts, and what to do if you see, or experience cyber-bullying.”

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters

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Facebook Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs.

From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.

TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.

I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones

More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.

People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.

A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said:  “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.

“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.

“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?

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Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.

But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.

It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.

Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.

And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.

Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.

For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews

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