Meta's Threads Makes an Impressive Debut; Charitable Giving Falls in 2022

August 2023
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Social media have flocked to Meta’s new Threads app that appears to mimic Twitter, including many former users who are unhappy with Elon Musk’s controversial oversight of that platform, including its recent name change to X

Threads, a companion app to Meta’s Instagram app, saw 100 million users sign up within the first five days of its release on July 5. Threads lets Instagram users automatically follow the same accounts. 

With Threads, “The goal is to create a public square” for people “interested in a less angry place for conversations” than they would find on Twitter, said Instagram head Adam Mosseri. Meta CEOMark Zuckerberg called Threads a “friendly” shelter from the noisy and chaotic world of news and politics.

Several marketers told CNBC that Threads has become the topic du jour for their company’s clients, “who are trying to figure out how the messaging app fits into their existing social media strategies.”

Companies are now monitoring Threads to see if the app attracts a different type of audience than merely existing Instagram users, which will impact their marketing plans, CNBC noted.

As Needs Increase, Charitable Giving Has Fallen

Charitable giving in the United States declined in 2022, after rising to record levels during the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to the Giving USA report released June 20, total giving fell by 3.4% in 2022, a drop of 10.5% when adjusted for inflation. The decline comes at a time when many nonprofits that provide services to people in need report increased requests for help.

According to Giving USA, 64% of donations last year were from individual donors; 21% from foundations; 9% from bequests, generally through a will or estate plan; and 6% from corporations. Una Osili, associate dean for research at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and the report’s lead researcher, said that since 2000 “giving has grown, but fewer people are participating.”

Josh Birkholz, chairman of the Giving USA Foundation, said the report’s findings could have been far worse, considering the tough economic climate of late 2022. Despite a 20-25% decline in the stock market and an 8% inflation rate, “Americans still gave nearly a half-trillion dollars,” he said.

Fewer People Trust News, More Turn to Social Media Personalities

Around the world, the number of people who find news first through a news website or app has dropped by 10 points since 2018, a Reuters report has found. Younger people prefer to access news through social media, internet searches or mobile aggregators.

In an online survey of roughly 94,000 adults in 46 markets, audiences pay more attention to celebrities, influencers and social media personalities than they do to journalists, the report finds. Fewer than half of respondents expressed much interest in news at all, down sharply from 6 out of 10 in 2017.

“There are no reasonable grounds for expecting that those born in the 2000s will suddenly come to prefer old-fashioned websites, let alone broadcast and print” news, said Rasmus Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute.

At 32%, Americans have the lowest trust in news among those surveyed. The proportion of respondents who say they avoid news remains near an all-time high, at 36% across all markets.

To Distinguish New Headset, Apple Tries Fresh Phrases

For its new “Vision Pro” headset, Apple has chosen its words carefully. As Axios reports, the company is billing the $3,500 device not as a better virtual-reality headset, but as Apple’s first “spatial computer.” And instead of calling the device’s video-chat representations “avatars,” Apple calls them “personas.” 

By using novel words and phrases, the company is trying to distinguish its new device from others and to make the technology sound more approachable and less arcane, reports. Apple’s says its Vision Pro device “seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world,” but its press release avoids the terms “virtual reality,” “augmented reality” or “mixed reality.”

Apple has long been careful with words when introducing new products. When it debuted the iPhone in 2007, the company said it was reinventing the telephone by combining a mobile phone with an internet communicator and an iPod. Apple only used the term “smartphone” as a derogatory reference to competitors’ products and their small, plastic keyboards.

Dissatisfied Young Workers ‘Rage Applying’ for New Jobs

Similar to “quiet quitting,” in which disgruntled employees give the bare minimum at work, a new trend finds some members of Gen Z “rage applying” to as many jobs as possible, out of anger.

As CBS News reports, some young employees feel unfairly compensated, stressed by heavy workloads or upset about not being promoted. And as a result, the workers channel anger into a slew of résumé submissions.

“This year, the trend has been layoffs, so employers are not putting the power in the candidate’s hand,” said Madelyn Machado, a career counselor. Job-seekers must submit “100 applications for an interview and 150 for an offer right now.”

Nathan Kennedy, a financial-content creator, recommends a strategic approach. Don’t wait until you’re angry to apply for a new job, he said. And “Before giving notice, be sure the new job and employer are really an improvement.”

Plus, as The Wall Street Journal notes, the effectiveness of rage applying “remains dubious.” As the outlet pointed out, recruiters have caught on to rage appliers, whose hasty applications usually contain mistakes, “and quickly toss them onto ‘no’ piles.”

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