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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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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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