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LEGO Conducts Survey of Children About Space

An interesting statistic was revealed after a survey conducted by LEGO found that children in the United States and the United Kingdom are 3x more likely to want to be a YouTube Influencer than an astronaut when they grow up.  Respondents in China, however, said that astronaut was the most desirable job, with 56% of kids responding that’s what they wanted to be later in life, while “YouTuber” was the least popular choice in China at just 16%. The children were asked to choose from a list of 5 professions including Astronaut, Teacher, Musician, Athlete and YouTuber/Vlogger. The study came in light of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and polled 3,000 children in the US, UK and China about their attitudes towards and knowledge of space.

Pew Study Looks at YouTube’s Most Popular Content

A recent Pew Research Center report looked at the most watched videos on YouTube and found that videos featuring kids and those targeted to kids are highly popular, clocking in at nearly three times as many views on average as other types of videos. Also revealed is that videos with the keywords "Fortnite," "prank" or "worst" in their title garnered more than five times as many views as those without these search terms.  Content about video games also remains hugely popular on YouTube, with about 18% of English-language videos posted by popular channels during the study period related to video games or gaming. 

A Perspective on the Social Media Use of Generation Z

A recent article from CNBC takes a look at Generation Z (8 to 22 year-olds) and their feelings on social media. The article revealed that in an interview with a group of 17-year-olds, almost all said that they rarely watch regular TV and hardly ever use Facebook. It was also found that members of Gen Z are typically more conscious of privacy concerns when using social media apps than older generations, however they can have difficulty distinguishing between what is paid content from advertisers.

The teenagers spoke to CNBC after a week at London ad agency Isobel, which runs a summer school program for students. Two teams were tasked with creating an ad campaign to warn younger teens of the dangers of social media, before presenting them to a judging panel. One team cautioned children not to share their location on social media with the tagline “Your World is Theirs,” while the second group encouraged youngsters to “Pull the Plug on Online Hate.”

Colleges Jump on the Influencer Train

Forbes has reported that several colleges and universities have adopted social media influencer programs with student ambassadors to promote the schools on channels such as Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Student ambassadors from the University of Delaware and other schools with similar programs such as Kent State University, Babson College, University of Central Florida or New York University post about anything from game day apparel to what they had for breakfast in the dining hall. These posts that showcase everyday experiences can help prospective students see the university could be a home for them too. Some of the student influencers say that the programs have helped them acquire marketing experience and access networking opportunities.

Instagram Test Hides Likes, Considers Mental Health

The Associated Press reports that Instagram is expanding a pilot program that started in Canada, masking "likes" to users. The test is a response to mental health concerns regarding the way people feel when viewing the engagement on other people’s profiles. People can still see how many people liked their own photos, but won’t see counts for other people’s posts. Critics say that such counts hurt mental health and make people feel bad when comparing themselves to others. One group that may be affected is Instagram “influencers,” the major, minor or micro celebrities who use social media to market products and otherwise influence their hordes of followers. The program is expanding to users in Ireland, Italy, Japan, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand.

Flaw in “Messenger Kids” Fixed By Facebook

Facebook has notified parents and corrected a technical error that permitted thousands of children using the Messenger Kids app to join group chats not approved by their parents. The app lets children between 6 and 12 years old message and video chat with family and friends who their parents approve. It's unclear how long the flaw existed. The app has been controversial since its launch in December 2017, and child advocacy groups have repeatedly urged Facebook to shut down the app, arguing it violates a federal law aimed at protecting a child's online privacy.

Adding Students with Disabilities to the Conversation about Social Media and Cyberbullying

Students with disabilities appear to experience higher highs and lower lows when using social media, according to a new report from the Ruderman Family Foundation. Students with disabilities are 1.8 times more likely to be victims—and 1.7 times more likely to be perpetrators—of social media-related cyberbullying, the group found in an analysis of survey information covering 24,000 Boston-area high school students. The connection between experiencing cyberbullying and suffering from depressive symptoms and suicidal tendencies is also particularly strong for these students.

Instagram is Trying to Stop Cyberbullying. What Can Parents Do to Help?

Instagram has recently announced new features and changes to help stamp out cyberbullying on the platform, including using artificial intelligence to detect when something offensive is about to be posted. A prompt will appear asking the user if they are sure they want to post, giving them the opportunity to reconsider. Another feature will be introduced soon that allows users to "restrict" someone, meaning they can delete comments from or block the other person from posts without that person knowing. The company said it arrived at the concept after hearing feedback that users are reluctant to outwardly block a bully because it could escalate the situation, especially if they also interact with the bully "in real life." These features may help, but social work professor Jonathan Singer says parents cannot rely on those safeguards alone. Singer encourages parents to discuss online safety with their children and keep communication open about social media use.

Bedtime Stories on Facebook

Need someone else to read a bedtime story for your kids this Tuesday? Archie Moss, an elementary-school principal in Tennessee, reads weekly bedtime stories to students over Facebook Live. In an interview, Moss says the idea for the "Bedtime Stories with Principal Moss" program came from the school's librarian, Monique Howard, who shared it as part of an effort to find innovative ways to reach students and build a culture of reading at the school. He has read stories every Tuesday night since February when it was started as a celebration of Black History Month.

Infographic: Facebook’s Guide to Best Practices for Video

Do you or your kids create videos to share on Facebook? Maybe to help a nonprofit or school page, or even for your own business? If so, you may want to take a look at some new tips Facebook posted, including an infographic providing ideas for getting your videos noticed. Some of their recommendations include considering shorter lengths for teasers, ads or polls and long-form content for developing narratives or livestreaming. They also suggest tips such as hooking mobile audiences with vertical formats and close-up shots and provide ways to ensure content shows up in search engines, all useful advice if you are trying to increase views!

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