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Which Alabama athletes have the most social media followers?



A whole new world for college sports began Thursday when laws in Alabama and several other states took effect allowing athletes to be paid for their name, image and likeness.

The NCAA still prohibits players from being financially induced to attend or remain at a particular school, but now those players can, for instance, reach deals with companies to endorse products — with some restrictions.

Social media is a powerful marketing force in 2021, and Tide athletes with the largest social media followings stand to benefit the most from potential sponsorship revenue. The university recognized that when it announced a brand management program that would help its athletes “maximizing personal social media platforms.”

With money now on the table, Alabama athletes in recent weeks have posted messages to their social media accounts inviting contact about business deals.

But which have the most followers and the most leverage for potential income?

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That list begins not with a football player but with junior men’s basketball guard Jahvon Quinerly, who appears to top Tide athletes in both Instagram followers (450,000) and Twitter followers (38,600). That is more than five times the Instagram followers of any Alabama football player and double the top football player’s followers on Twitter.

Part of Quinerly’s social media following dates to high school, when he was part of the “Jelly Fam” that made a particular type of finger-roll basket go viral online. Quinerly wrote on Twitter in March, “This is a movement that has the potential to not only put ourselves in better positions financially but our families as well.”

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Incoming freshman guard JD Davison — a former five-star recruit, like Quinerly — is another potential marketing force on Instagram, boasting almost 350,000 followers. And guard Nimari Burnett, a former McDonald’s All-American who transferred this offseason from Texas Tech, has more than 58,000 followers on that platform. That is more than all but three football players.

Alabama’s top returning softball star also bests any football player in Instagram and Twitter followers. Pitcher Montana Fouts, whose stardom exploded with a perfect game in the Women’s College World Series last month, has 112,000 followers on Instagram and 26,000 on Twitter in addition to more than 129,000 fans on TikTok. Softball teammate Jenna Johnson has a sizable Instagram following of 34,900.

Some Tide gymnasts have followings that exceed most football players’. Emily Gaskins has 31,600 followers on Instagram, while Shallon Olsen boasts 18,700 and Lexi Graber has accumulated 17,100. Sports Illustrated reported Wednesday that an LSU gymnast with 1.1 million Instagram followers, Olivia Dunne, is expected to earn more from loosened NIL rules than any other college athlete.

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In track and field, pole vaulter Riley White has 32,000 followers on Instagram and sprinter Amari Brown has 26,100 — more than the vast majority of Tide football players.

RELATED: Paid college athletes will reform, improve the NCAA

With bona fide stars such as DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Mac Jones and Najee Harris gone to the NFL, the football program has fewer established brands entering the fall season. Predictably, quarterback Bryce Young — a five-star recruit who played sparingly as a freshman last season — is at or near the top of the lists with his social media presence.

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Other players with large followings tend to fall into at least one of three categories: (1) former top recruits, (2) local ties to Alabama, and (3) skill position players.

Wide receivers in particular are well-followed, with presumptive starting wideouts John Metchie and Slade Bolden high on the lists along with several of the Tide’s highly-rated receiver prospects the past two recruiting cycles.

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Offensive and defensive linemen could be at a disadvantage in earning social media marketing income. Left tackle Evan Neal, widely projected as a top 10 NFL draft pick next spring, does not rank within the top 20 in Instagram or Twitter followers among Tide football players.

Tuscaloosa native and likely starting running back Brian Robinson is Alabama’s second-most followed player on Twitter, while defensive backs in Pinson Valley’s Kool-Aid McKinstry and Hewitt-Trussville’s Malachi Moore and Pierce Quick are also popular follows.

Backup quarterback Paul Tyson, who has not attempted a pass in two seasons at Alabama, is among the top 20 in Instagram followers and top 10 in Twitter followers. The great-grandson of Bear Bryant’s path to playing time remains unclear behind Young and, beginning next season, five-star prospect Ty Simpson — but his opportunity to earn money at Alabama is real.

Freshman linebacker Kendrick Blackshire, a four-star recruit from Texas, will also be among the most followed Alabama players on social media when he arrives on campus this summer.

Most Instagram followers, Alabama football players:

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  1. QB Bryce Young — 82,300
  2. ILB Kendrick Blackshire — 69,600
  3. WR John Metchie — 64,000
  4. CB Kool-Aid McKinstry — 52,400
  5. DB Malachi Moore — 45,800
  6. WR Agiye Hall — 42,500
  7. RB Trey Sanders — 32,200
  8. WR Slade Bolden — 29,100
  9. WR Traeshon Holden — 28,600
  10. WR Javon Baker — 28,600
  11. RB Brian Robinson, Jr. — 27,400
  12. WR Jameson Williams — 25,500
  13. ILB Henry To’oto’o — 23,100
  14. ILB Christian Harris — 22,200
  15. S Jordan Battle — 19,700
  16. S Daniel Wright — 18,600
  17. WR Ja’Corey Brooks — 17,600
  18. WR Xavier Williams — 17,500
  19. QB Paul Tyson — 16,200
  20. CB Josh Jobe — 15,800
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Most Twitter followers, Alabama football players:

  1. ILB Henry To’oto’o — 17,200
  2. RB Brian Robinson, Jr. — 17,100
  3. QB Bryce Young — 16,000
  4. RB Trey Sanders — 15,300
  5. DB Malachi Moore — 14,300
  6. WR John Metchie — 13,300
  7. CB Kool-Aid McKinstry — 13,200
  8. QB Paul Tyson — 11,700
  9. WR Slade Bolden — 10,600
  10. S Jordan Battle — 10,400
  11. DL LaBryan Ray — 10,400
  12. ILB Kendrick Blackshire — 10,300
  13. ILB Christian Harris — 9,789
  14. CB Josh Jobe — 9,000
  15. OL Chris Owens — 8,565
  16. OL Pierce Quick — 8,435
  17. OLB Christopher Allen — 8,343
  18. DL Phidarian Mathis — 7,979
  19. S Terrion Arnold — 7,876
  20. WR Agiye Hall — 7,725

Mike Rodak is an Alabama beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mikerodak.

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LinkedIn Makes its 20 Most Popular LinkedIn Learning Courses Freely Available Throughout August





Looking to up your skills for a job change or career advancement in the second half of the year?

This will help – today, LinkedIn has published its listing of the 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses over the first half of 2022. In addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making each of these courses free to access till the end of the month – so now may well be the best time to jump in and brush up on the latest, rising skills in your industry.

As per LinkedIn:

As the Great Reshuffle slows and the job market cools, professionals are getting more serious about skill building. The pandemic accelerated change across industries, and as a result, skills to do a job today have changed even compared to a few years ago. Professionals are responding by learning new skills to future-proof their careers and meet the moment.” 

LinkedIn says that over seven million people have undertaken these 20 courses this year, covering everything from improved communication, project management, coding, strategic thinking and more.

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Here are the top 20 LinkedIn Learning courses right now, which you can access via the relevant links:

  1. Goal Setting: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with Jessie Withers
  2. Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) with Dennis Taylor
  3. Interpersonal Communication with Dorie Clark
  4. Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  5. Project Management Foundations with Bonnie Biafore
  6. Using Questions to Foster Critical Thinking and Curiosity with Joshua Miller
  7. Essentials of Team Collaboration with Dana Brownlee
  8. Unconscious Bias with Stacey Gordon
  9. Learning Python with Joe Marini
  10. Communicating with Confidence with Jeff Ansell
  11.  Speaking Confidently and Effectively with Pete Mockaitis
  12. Learning the OWASP Top 10 with Caroline Wong
  13. Power BI Essential Training with Gini von Courter
  14. Strategic Thinking with Dorie Clark
  15. SQL Essential Training with Bill Weinman
  16. Developing Your Emotional Intelligence with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  17. Communication Foundations with Brenda Bailey-Hughes and Tatiana Kolovou
  18. Agile Foundations with Doug Rose
  19. Digital Marketing Foundations with Brad Batesole
  20. Critical Thinking with Mike Figliuolo
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If you’ve been thinking about upskilling, now may be the time – or maybe it’s just worth taking some of the programming courses, for example, so that you have a better understanding of how to communicate between departments on projects.

Or you could take an Agile course. If, you know, you don’t trust your own management ability.

The courses are available for free till August 31st via the above links.

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Instagram Is Rolling Out Reels Replies, And Will Be Testing A New Feature Which Informs …





Instagram has added a few more social features to the platform, with Reels Replies being rolled out. Along with the Replies, anew feature is being tested that shows when two users are active together in the same chat.

Reels has been performing much better than perhaps even Instagram ever anticipated. The TikTok-inspired new video format (which officially claims to have absolutely no relation to the former) had some trouble really finding its footing initially. However, Reels has grown massively and while it may not be a source of the most direct competition to TikTok, it is indeed a worthy alternative.

Reels has grown to the point that it has a massive creator program attached to it, and the video format has even been migrated to Facebook with the goal of generating further user interest there. Naturally, with such a successful virtual goldmine on its hands, Instagram has been hard at work developing new features and interface updates for Reels, integrating it more and more seamlessly into the rest of the social media platform. Features such as Reels Replies are a major part of such attempts at integration.

Reels Visual Replies are essentially just what they sound like: A Reel that is being used to reply to someone. It’s a feature that’s been seen frequently across TikTok as well. Reel Replies essentially take a user’s comments, and reply to them in video format. The comment will then show up within the Reel itself as a text-box, taking up some amount of space, and showing both the user who issued said comment along with the text. The text-box is apparently adjustable, with users having the ability to move it around and change its size depending on where it obstructs one’s Reel the least.

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Overall, it’s a fun addition to the Reels format, even if the credit should be going to TikTok first. At any rate, it’s an example of Instagram really utilizing Reels’ social media capabilities, outside of just serving it up as a form of entertainment.

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Speaking of social media capabilities, a new feature might help alleviate one of the most common frustrations encountered across all such platforms. Isn’t it annoying when you see that a friend’s online, but isn’t replying to your chat? Sure, they’ve probably just put their phone down to run a quick errand, but there’s no way for you to know, right? Well, there sort of is now! Instagram is beta testing a new feature via which if both users are active within a chat, the platform will display that accordingly. It’s a work-around, sure, and one that’s currently being tested for usefulness, but it’s still a very nice, and even fresh, addition to the social media game.

Now, the active status will only appear when you are both active at the same time.#Instagram #instgramnewfeature@MattNavarra @instagram @alex193a

— Yash Joshi  (@MeYashjoshi) December 10, 2021

Read next: Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android





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


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.

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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.

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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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