Social Pulse, Week of 9-9

The Olds Are Taking Over Social Media: New Pew data shows the shares of Gen Xers, Boomers and Silents who say they use social media have increased by at least 10%! We may need to rename the Silent Generation if they start joining TikTok. 

Twitter Agency Playbook: This week Twitter launched a 30-page guidebook with the Twitter 101 and 201 about all things Twitter strategy. It’s a helpful reference guide and explainer, whether you’re on the agency or brand side.

Social Media-Rologists: The NYT reports on the phenomenon of citizen meteorology – what they call “social media rologists.” It turns out when everyone has access to weather data and a social media account, it can create some confusion – and sometimes so much weather conversation that people tune it out. Key quote: “Everyone can be a meteorologist nowadays, and I love that,” said Lauren Rautenkranz, a meteorologist at First Coast News in Jacksonville, Fla. “It’s just, we don’t want people to latch onto one specific computer model and think that’s a forecast. It’s guidance.”

Red Cross Twitter Game: The International Committee of the Red Cross built a “choose your own adventure” game using threads in Twitter: You’re trying to deliver food to a besieged city – what’s your first step?

Instagram Copying TikTok? Reports are swirling this week that Instagram is working on something called “Clips,” a new camera mode for creating Instagram Stories that would mirror TikTok’s features.Instagram is gonna Instagram, and they have a history of mimicking features from other social media apps and integrating them on their own platform. We’ll be watching this closely.

Sharenting: The New Yorker writes about the long-term repercussions of parents sharing their children’s private lives on social media (aka “sharenting”). Key quote: “On a philosophical level, sharenting exposes children to the larger digital world without their consent, robbing them of a kind of agency. It exposes them to platforms that they might have opted out of altogether—and deprives them of the choice to never be on social media in the first place…  adults sharent because the online world makes it very easy to do and even encourages it.” Their advice? Make more mindful choices about our digital lives.

It’s a new Record for Records: Vinyl is on track to outsell CDs for the first time since 1986. Of course, both formats are extremely small in overall revenue, while paid subscriptions to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music accounted for 62%. Also, ringbacks are a still a thing? See the full report here (PDF).

Instagram Data: Quintly analyzed the performance of 34,121 Instagram Business Profiles and 5.4 million posts between January 1st and June 30th and found some insights worth exploring: as Instagram grows overall, the analyzed profiles grew between 9.4%-16% in just six months; 150+ characters were used in 67% of posts; more than 50% of all posts don’t include emojis; and 1-3 hashtags are most used in posts. See the full study here. (Reminder, this is directional data and always benchmark your social strategy off your own data!)

Snap + Debates: All of the top-tier Democratic Presidential candidates have now launched Snapchat accounts, where they are posting content, selling merch and raising money. And now this week Snap launched a dedicated news channel specifically for the 2020 debates, called “Democratic Primary Debate Channel.” Per Axios, “Snap’s pitch for politicians to get more involved in the platform around debates is that the debate channel will increase their exposure to a key voting demographic, elevating their stories and content for youngsters who don’t necessarily opt-in to receive political content.”

Instagram(s) of the Week: This week’s recommended follow is a tie between @slowheavymetalmusicplaying, featuring photos with the caption “(slow heavy metal music playing)” and @80snewsscreens, featuring screengrabs from 1980’s TV newscasts.