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Tokyo Olympians Win Social Media Gold



This year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo are different from all others that came before.

First, the Games were delayed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, just before the start of the Olympics, it was announced that fans would not be permitted in most event areas.

Olympic competitions are being shown on television, of course. But the biggest interest for the Games seems to be happening online.

Many people are watching events on their computers or mobile devices. More than 100 million people visited Olympic websites or used apps through the first week of the Games.

The broadcaster that shows the Olympics in the United States is NBC. It reports that people had watched more than 2.5 billion minutes of the Games on the internet or mobile devices. That number is 77 percent higher than during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.


Rayssa Leal and Momiji Nishiya of Japan pose with their skateboarding medals.

Rayssa Leal and Momiji Nishiya of Japan pose with their skateboarding medals.

While some athletes at the Tokyo Games shot to popularity by winning medals, others became stars on social media. Many competitors using services like TikTok and Instagram have greatly expanded their fan base.

One example is Margie Didal, a skateboarder from the Philippines. She finished seventh in her event. But she has 1.5 million followers on TikTok. Some of her short videos have been seen by millions. Two videos from Tokyo got more than 15 million views. One of them shows her dancing with Rayssa Leal of Brazil, who won a silver medal. Leal herself has 6 million followers on Instagram.

Another athlete who did not shine in competition but got wide attention on social media is Ilona Maher of the U.S. women’s rugby team. Maher is big and strong – weighing about 90 kilograms and standing about 1.8 meters tall. She uses the hashtag “beastbeautybrains” with her social media posts. She says she wants to let larger girls know “you can be so many things, a beast on the rugby field, a beauty whenever, and have as much brains as the smartest person out there.”

One athlete who is getting popular is not even an Olympian yet. Silvia Solymosyova is a synchronized swimmer from Slovakia. She has published videos on TikTok in English in an effort to get attention in the U.S. So far she has gained over 1 million followers, mostly with videos showing her dancing underwater.

Jagger Eaton is a young American skateboarder. He has been competing since he was a boy. He is now 20. Eaton, who won a bronze medal in Tokyo, said he is “stoked” that so many people are now interested in skateboarding. He has about 500,000 followers between Instagram and TikTok.


Another American athlete, Erik Shoji, is getting attention for his videos that show off the food and atmosphere inside the Olympic village in Tokyo. Shoji is a volleyball player from Hawaii. He said the goal of his videos was to show his own experiences in the athlete’s village and to help fans to learn more about the U.S. men’s volleyball team.

In one video, Shoji documented an attempt to try out some Japanese food. Among the items were an egg roll, a shrimp dumpling, fried chicken and a “meat bun.” In one opinion after his on-camera taste test, Shoji commented: “Pretty good, but needs some sauce.”

I’m Dan Friedell.

Jenna Fryer wrote this story for the Associated Press. Dan Friedell adapted it for Learning English. Bryan Lynn was the editor.

Who are some of your favorite Olympic athletes to follow on social media? Tell us in the Comments Section and visit our Facebook page.



Words in This Story

app –n. a computer program that performs a special function, usually found on mobile phones

athlete –n. a person who is trained in or good at sports, games, or exercises that require physical skill and strength

medal –n. a piece of metal with designs and words on it given to honor a special event, a person or a victory in a competition

beast –n. a wild animal that is large, dangerous, or unusual; used to describe a strong or powerful person


synchronized swimming –n. a sport in which swimmers move together in patterns to music

stoked –adj. very pleased or excited

dumpling –n. a piece of food that is wrapped in dough and cooked

sauce –n. a thick liquid that is eaten with or on food to add flavor to it

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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.


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





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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