Facebook rolls out checks for UK political ads

Facebook has announced it rolled out a system of checks on political ads run on its platform in the UK which requires advertisers to verify their identity and location to try to make it harder for foreign actors to meddle in domestic elections and referenda. This follows similar rollouts of political ad transparency tools in […]

Facebook has announced it rolled out a system of checks on political ads run on its platform in the UK which requires advertisers to verify their identity and location to try to make it harder for foreign actors to meddle in domestic elections and referenda.

This follows similar rollouts of political ad transparency tools in the U.S. and Brazil.

From today, Facebook said it will record and display information about who paid for political ads to run on its platform in the UK within an Ad library — including retaining the ad itself — for “up to seven years”.

It will also badge these ads with a “Paid for by” disclaimer.

So had the company had this system up and running during the UK’s 2016 Brexit referendum, the Canadian data firm AIQ would, presumably, have had to pass its political advertiser verification process, and display “Paid for by” Vote Leave/BeLeave/Veterans for Britain badges on scores of pro-Brexit ads… If it didn’t just get barred for not being based in the UK in the first place.

(How extensively Facebook will be checking up on political advertisers’ ‘paid for by’ claims is one pertinent question to ask, and we have asked; otherwise this looks mostly like a badging exercise — which requires other doing the work to check/police claims… ).

Ditto during Ireland’s referendum earlier this year, on overturning a constitutional ban on abortion. In that instance Facebook decided to suspend all foreign-funded ads a few weeks before the vote because it did not yet have a political ad check system in place.

In the UK, the new requirement on political advertisers applies to “all advertisers wanting to run ads in the UK that reference political figures, political parties, elections, legislation before Parliament and past referenda that are the subject of national debate”, Facebook said.

“We see this as an important part of ensuring electoral integrity and helping people understand who they are engaging with,” said Richard Allan, VP of global public policy, and Rob Leathern, director of product management in a blog post announcing the launch. “We recognise that this is going to be a significant change for people who use our service to publish this type of ad. While the vast majority of ads on Facebook are run by legitimate organisations, we know that there are bad actors that try to misuse our platform. By having people verify who they are, we believe it will help prevent abuse.”

UK lawmakers have been highly critical of Facebook’s response to their attempts to investigate how social media ads were used and mis-used during the UK’s 2016 EU referendum.

This summer the parliamentary committee that has been investigating online disinformation called for a levy on social media to ‘defend democracy’. And earlier this year Facebook told the same committee it would roll out an authentication process for political advertisers in time for the UK’s local elections, in May 2019 — with CTO Mike Schroepfer telling MPs the company believes “radical transparency” can fix concern about the societal and democratic impacts of divisive social media ads.

In response, MPs quizzed Schroepfer on whether Facebook’s political ad transparency tool would be so radical as to include “targeting data” in the disclosures — i.e. “will I understand not just who the advertiser was and what other adverts they’d run but why they’d chose to advertise to me”.

The Facebook CTO’s response in April suggested the company did not plan to go that far. And, indeed, Facebook says now that the details it will disclose in the Ad library are only: “A range of the ad’s budget and number of people reached, and the other ads that Page is running.”

So not, seemingly, any actual targeting data: Aka the specific reasons a particular user is seeing a particular political ad. Which could help Facebook users contextualize political ads and be wiser to attempts to manipulate their opinion, as well as generally better understand how their personal information is being used (and potentially misused).

It’s true that Facebook does already provide some data about broad-brush targeting, with a per-ad option users can click to get a response on ‘why am I seeing this?’. But the targeting categories the company serves via this feature are so broad and lacking in comprehensiveness as to be selectively uninformative and thus pretty useless at very best.

Indeed, the results have even been accused of being misleading.

If Facebook was required by law to rip away its adtech modesty curtain entirely there’s a risk, for its business model, that users would get horribly creeped out by the full bore view of the lidless eye in the digital wall spying on them to target ads.

So while Schroepfer teased UK MPs with “radical transparency” the reality, six months on, is something a whole lot more dilute and incremental.

Facebook itself appears to be conceding as much, and trying to manage expectations, when it writes: “We believe that increased transparency will lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time — not just for Facebook but for advertisers as well.”

So it remains to be seen whether UK lawmakers will be satisfied with this tidbit. Or call for blood, as they set themselves to the task of regulating social media.

The other issue is how comprehensively (or otherwise) Facebook will police its own political ad checks.

Its operational historical is replete with content identification and moderation failures. Which doesn’t exactly bode well for the company to robustly control malicious attempts to skew public opinion — especially when the advertisers in question are simultaneously trying to pour money into its coffers.

So it also remains to be seen how many divisive political ads will simply slip under its radar — i.e. via the non-political, non-verified standard route, and get distributed anyway. Not least because there is also the trickiness of identifying a political ad (vs a non-political ad).

Malicious political ads paid for by Kremlin-backed entities didn’t always look like malicious political ads. Some of the propaganda Russia was spreading via Facebook in the US targeted at voters included seemingly entirely apolitical and benign messages aimed at boosting support among certain identity-based groups, for example. And those sorts of ads would not appear to fit Facebook’s definition of a ‘political ad’ here.

In general, the company also looks to be relying on everyone else to do the grunt-work policing for it — as per its usual playbook.

“If you see an ad which you believe has political content and isn’t labeled, please report it by tapping the three dots at the top right-hand corner of the ad,” it writes. “We will review the ad, and if it falls under our political advertising policy, we’ll take it down and add it to the Ad Library. The advertiser will then be prevented from running ads related to politics until they complete our authorisation process and we’ll follow up to let you know what happened to the ad you reported.”

Ahead of midterm elections, Facebook expands ban on posts aimed at voter suppression

Facebook is expanding its ban on false and misleading posts that aim to deter citizens from voting in the upcoming midterm elections. The social media giant is adding two more categories of false information to its existing policy, which it introduced in 2016, in an effort to counter new types of abuse. Facebook already removes verifiably […]

Facebook is expanding its ban on false and misleading posts that aim to deter citizens from voting in the upcoming midterm elections.

The social media giant is adding two more categories of false information to its existing policy, which it introduced in 2016, in an effort to counter new types of abuse.

Facebook already removes verifiably false posts about the dates, times and locations of polling stations — but will now exclude false posts that wrongly describe methods of voting — such as by phone or text message — as well as posts that aim to exclude portions of the population, such as based on a voter’s age, for example.

But other posts that can’t be immediately verified will be sent to the company’s fact checkers for review.

Facebook’s public policy manager Jessica Leinwand said in a blog post announcing the changes that users will also be given a new reporting option to flag false posts.

The expanded policy is part of the company’s ongoing work to counter misleading or maliciously incorrect posts that try to suppress voters from casting their ballot, which could alter the outcome of a political race.

The ban comes into effect with less than a month before the U.S. midterm elections, after facing heavy criticism from lawmakers that Facebook has not done enough to prevent election meddling and misinformation campaigns on its site. Facebook has largely shied away from banning the spread of deliberately false news and information, including about candidates and other political issues, amid concerns that the platform would be accused of stifling free speech and expression.

But the company didn’t have much room to maneuver after a prominent Democratic senator challenged Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg during a congressional hearing about how the company planned to prevent content that suppresses votes.

During that hearing, Sandberg admitted the company could have done more to prevent the spread of false news on its platform, but argued that U.S. intelligence could have helped.

How to Use Snapchat Memories: Everything You Need to Know

snapchat-memories

Snapchat Memories—introduced in 2016—shifted Snapchat away from being the platform of self-destructing photos and videos, to being direct competition for Facebook. Snapchat Memories is now a key component of Snapchat, but do you know how to use the feature effectively? Here’s everything you need to know about using Snapchat Memories. Your Personalized Album of Snaps Snapchat Memories offers a personalized album of your favorite snaps and stories that you access by swiping up on the camera home screen. And it’s one of the things every Snapchat user should know how to use. Previously, you could download your snaps and stories…

Read the full article: How to Use Snapchat Memories: Everything You Need to Know

Snapchat Memories—introduced in 2016—shifted Snapchat away from being the platform of self-destructing photos and videos, to being direct competition for Facebook.

Snapchat Memories is now a key component of Snapchat, but do you know how to use the feature effectively? Here’s everything you need to know about using Snapchat Memories.

Your Personalized Album of Snaps

Snapchat Memories offers a personalized album of your favorite snaps and stories that you access by swiping up on the camera home screen. And it’s one of the things every Snapchat user should know how to use.

Previously, you could download your snaps and stories directly to your phone. Now, you can save them within the app itself for even easier access. This makes for a fun, more engaged way to share your memories with friends and family without scrolling through unsorted camera rolls, while still keeping your “private” shots safe.

Everything you save to Snapchat Memories is securely backed up by Snapchat using Google’s reliable App Engine Cloud. This means that even if you lose your phone, you’ll still be able to access your saved snaps and stories next time you log in to the app.

Understanding the Memories Tab

When you open up Memories within Snapchat, you’ll see a reverse chronological list of your saved snaps and stories. Snaps are displayed as rectangles, and stories as circles.

To search for specific snaps and stories, click on the Search button in the top-left. This search feature will not just look for words within your captions, but also recognizable objects (like cats or hats), as well as location (if you’ve allowed Snapchat to access your location).

The Select button in the top right enables you to select one or more of your saved snaps and stories. You can then send these to friends, delete them, add them to your current story, share them on other platforms, or move to the My Eyes Only folder (more on that later).

Saving Your Snaps and Stories to Memories

Just before you send a snap to a friend or publish it to your Story, click on the Save button at the bottom of the screen. This will save that snap to your Memories. Alternatively, if you long-hold the Download button, you can also choose to Save to Camera Roll and Memories.

If you want to save your currently viewable Snapchat Story (My Story) to Memories, navigate to the Stories screen. Click the Save button that’s next to My Story. This will save the entire Story to your Memories.

Naturally, you can only save your own snaps and stories to Memories, not anyone else’s.

Posting Old Snaps and Stories

One of the main benefits of Snapchat Memories is the ability to re-share your old snaps and stories. This is perfect for some #TBT posts. These can either be added to your current story or sent individually to friends.

Note that all old stories and snaps that you share will have a black border around them, as well as a timestamp, to make it clear how old they are.

  • To re-share a saved snap, long-hold the snap from within Memories, then edit as you normally would. Click the blue Share button and choose to either add the snap to your story or select the friends you want to send it to.
  • To re-share a saved story, long-hold that story, and make any edits. Click Send Story, and choose where you would like the story to be sent. You also have the option of only sending individual snaps from within your stories.

Create New Stories From Your Memories

If you’ve created loads of snaps and taken loads of photos during your holiday and saved these to Memories, you can easily compile these into a brand new story.

To do this, click the Select button in the top right, and choose each of the snaps, stories, and photos from your Camera Roll, which you want to compile. Then click the circular + button at the bottom of the screen. A new story will be created.

To name your new story, long-hold the story, click the hamburger button (top left), and click “Rename Story“.

You can then share this story as explained earlier.

Understanding “My Eyes Only”

How many times have you allowed a friend to browse through your camera roll, only to realize there’s a photo in there you just didn’t want them to see?

That’s what “My Eyes Only” is for. This is a private album that you can add your private snaps and stories to.

Click the Select button within Memories, then choose one or more snaps or stories to make private. When you’re done, click on the Padlock button at the bottom of the screen, and click Move. The first time you do this, you’ll be asked to provide a 4-digit passcode. Make sure you choose something you’ll remember. If you forget this, Snapchat can’t help you recover those Memories.

Why Snapchat Memories Is a Game-Changer

There are two main reasons why introducing Memories was a very smart move by Snapchat.

Saving snaps and stories used to be incredibly frustrating. This turned a lot of people (and brands) away from the platform because they didn’t want to spend time creating content that would simply disappear. Now that’s changed. Snapchat is already popular, with more users than Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And Memories is helping Snapchat continue to grow.

But more importantly, Snapchat is helping to revolutionize the way we store, share, and look back on our memories. Up to now, social media has offered us a way to create semi-public albums of photos, and streams of status updates.

Snapchat is instead offering a searchable archive of stories that we’ve lived through. Each of these stories now comprises filters, stickers, captions, images, and short-form video. If images paint a thousand words, Snapchat stories could easily paint a million. It offers a whole new experience when we’re looking back at old memories, or showing them to our friends and family.

Not only can we rest easy knowing that our private photos are behind lock and key. But with stories offering so much more than a set of photo albums, what we have is a camera roll on steroids. A camera roll that comes alive, and brings our memories to life. Plus, it allows us to snap later, rather than right now, so we can spend more time in the present.

Mix this with Snapchat’s other cool features, along with Snapchat’s most creative users, and you have an app everyone should be using.

Read the full article: How to Use Snapchat Memories: Everything You Need to Know

YC-grad Papa raises $2.4M for its ‘grandkids-on-demand’ service

Alexis Ohanian’s Initialized Capital and Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures participated in the round for the Y Combinator graduate.

One of the latest additions to the on-demand economy is Papa, a mobile app that connects college students with adults over 60 in need of support and companionship.

The recent graduate of Y Combinator’s accelerator program has raised a $2.4 million round of funding to expand its service throughout Florida and to five additional states next year, beginning with Pennsylvania. Initialized Capital led the round, with participation from Sound Ventures.

Headquartered in Miami, the startup was founded last year by chief executive officer Andrew Parker. The idea came to him while he was juggling a full-time job at a startup and caring for his grandfather, who had early onset dementia.

“I’ve always been a connector of humans,” Parker, the former vice president of health systems at telehealth company MDLIVE, told TechCrunch. “I’ve always naturally felt comfortable with all walks of life and all age groups and have just felt human connection is really critical.”

Seniors can request a “Papa Pal” using the company’s mobile app, desktop site or by phone. The pals can pick them up and take them out for an activity or have them over to play a game, complete household chores, teach them how to use social media and other technology or simply to chat. A senior is matched with a student, who must complete a “rigorous” background check, in as little as 30 seconds.

Parker says there are 600 students working with Papa an average of 25 hours per month.

“We’ve been fortunate that this is something the students really want to be part of,” he said. “They aren’t doing this for a couple extra dollars. They are doing this to help the community.”

The service costs seniors $20 per hour, $12 of which is paid to the students and $8 is returned to Papa. It’s not a subscription-based service, but seniors can pay for a premium option that lets them choose between three Papa Pals instead of being randomly paired with one of the several hundred options. The students do not provide any personal care, like bathing or grooming. And they are not a pick-up and drop-off service, like Uber or Lyft.

“We believe the Papa team has found a unique way to combat loneliness and depression in older adults,” said Alexis Ohanian, co-founder and managing partner of Initialized Capital, in a statement. “The experience that Papa Pals bring their members make it seem like they are part of a family.”

In addition to expanding to new markets, Papa is in the process of partnering with insurance companies with a goal of allowing seniors to pay for some of its services through their Medicare plans.

“Loneliness is a crisis. It’s a disease. It’s killing people prematurely,” Parker said. “We are providing a really massive impact to these people’s lives.”

How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags for More Likes & Followers

instagram-hashtags

The humble hashtag is an integral part of Instagram. Using hashtags is how your photos show up in the “Discover” tab, it’s how other people can find pictures, and it leads to more likes. But you probably need some help using the right hashtags. To an Instagram newbie, the culture of cryptic hashtags is difficult to understand. What’s a #tbt or a #f4f? What does someone mean by #LikeForLike or #Instagood? Knowing what hashtags mean, and which hashtags are used regularly for certain topics like pets or food, can help hone your hashtag strategy. Starting With the Hottest Instagram Hashtags…

Read the full article: How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags for More Likes & Followers

instagram-hashtags

The humble hashtag is an integral part of Instagram. Using hashtags is how your photos show up in the “Discover” tab, it’s how other people can find pictures, and it leads to more likes. But you probably need some help using the right hashtags.

To an Instagram newbie, the culture of cryptic hashtags is difficult to understand. What’s a #tbt or a #f4f? What does someone mean by #LikeForLike or #Instagood? Knowing what hashtags mean, and which hashtags are used regularly for certain topics like pets or food, can help hone your hashtag strategy.

Starting With the Hottest Instagram Hashtags

top 100 hashtags on instagram right now

Before you figure out a strategy, you first need to understand which hashtags are the most popular on Instagram. Top Hashtags provides a list of the top 100 Instagram hashtags ever used. You can see how many millions of photos are tagged similarly. Even remembering a selection of these might give you a headstart.

One of our favorite lesser-known Instagram tricks is to use the autocomplete feature to get better hashtags. When you start typing a hashtag, Instagram will give you suggestions to complete it, along with the number of times that tag has been used. Obviously, the more popular a tag is, the better your chances are of getting noticed. Remember that the 100th most popular tag has about 60 million posts, so if you find a number close to that, you’re golden.

Finding the Best Hashtags by Topic

Display Purposes automatically finds the best instagram hashtags for you

The hashtags you use for a photo of your dog playing fetch can’t be the same tags used for a plate of delicious dessert. So how do you find hashtags related to a certain topic? Well, you need to always see the tags others are using, of course. But no one said you can’t use a cheat sheet to help you out.

Head to Display Purposes, and type a word or two about the photo you’re uploading. For example, you might type “dog” and “pets”, and then hit search. The web app will immediately make a list of 30 popular hashtags, which you can tap to copy. It also smartly mixes hashtags so that you don’t get repetitive ones, and are more likely to find hashtags that are growing in popularity.

Display Purposes doesn’t have a mobile app, but you don’t need one anyway. For something like this, it will need to run a web search every time so that you get the latest and greatest hashtags. You’re better off using the website as an app.

Finding Hashtags by Uploading Photos

If you don’t know what to search for, how do you come up with the best hashtag? Try uploading your image to AutoHash, and it will generate keywords based on the picture.

AutoHash uses some smart visual recognition software to analyze your photo and figure out what it is. Then it dives into its database of trending hashtags to match you with the best possible list. It works surprisingly well, especially for common Instagram pictures like food, pets, or travel.

The only issue with AutoHash is that it only recognizes your current GPS location. So if you’ve moved away from where you took the picture, the location hashtag for the photo will be wrong. Make sure you change that.

Download: AutoHash for Android (Free)

Each Day Has Its Own Best Hashtags

One of the worst-kept secrets of Instagram’s hashtags is that each day of the week has its own popular hashtag. Or sometimes multiple ones for each day. Now you’ve probably heard of #ThrowbackThursday, where you post photos from years ago. Using the correct hashtag for other days of the week can give you a similar boost.

Popular Instagram Hashtags for Monday

Use #monday, #mondays, and #manicmonday as regular tags for the day.

Use #mondaymotivation for an inspirational pic to kickstart the week.

Use #mondayblues or #mondaymorning to complain about getting back to the grind.

Use #mondayfunday for photos that show you can have a good time after the weekend.

Use #musicmonday to share your favorite tunes on Instagram or plug a local band playing this week.

Popular Instagram Hashtags for Tuesday

Use #tuesday and #tuesdays as regular tags for the day.

Use #tongueouttuesday to capture a photo of your pooch with their tongue hanging out.

Use #traveltuesday to share a photo of your current or recent trip.

Use #transformationtuesday to showcase your struggle towards your personal goal. This is a great time to make before and after collages with Instagram’s Layout app.

Popular Instagram Hashtags for Wednesday

Use #wednesday, #wednesdays, and #humpday as regular tags for the day.

Use #wellnesswednesday to talk about health and fitness.

Use #winewednesday if you need a glass to get over the hump day and last the week.

Use #wednesdaywisdom to share an inspirational quote or story.

Popular Instagram Hashtags for Thursday

Use #thursday and #thursdays as regular tags for the day.

Use #throwbackthursday and #tbt to share an old photo, reliving a fond memory.

Use #thursdate for a middle-of-the-week date night.

Use #thirstythursday if you’re grabbing a drink.

Use #thankfulthursday to express your gratitude towards someone or something this week.

Popular Instagram Hashtags for Friday

Use #friday, #fridays, and #tgif as regular tags for the day.

Use #flashbackfriday or #fbf if you missed Throwback Thursday, or if you want to post another cherished memory.

Use #fridaynight to show yourself having a good time, along with #fridaynights and #fridayvibes.

Use #fridaynightlights and #fridaynightfootball if you’re posting a picture from a high school football game.

Note: Friday has the largest number of popular hashtags, so you might just find something for yourself through autocomplete. Try out a few combinations!

Popular Instagram Hashtags for Saturday

Use #saturday and #saturdays as regular tags for the day.

Use #saturdaymornings to show how you are spending the first lazy morning of the weekend.

Use #caturday to post your feline friend’s favorite photos. Hey, the internet can’t get enough of cats!

Use #saturdaynight to tell the world how you’re chilling out.

Popular Instagram Hashtags for Sunday

Use #sunday, #sundays, and #sundayfunday as regular tags for the day.

Use #selfiesunday and #sundayselfie to train the camera lens on to yourself and capture that perfect selfie.

Use #sundaybrunch if you’re heading out for a relaxing meal at the start of the day.

Sticking With the 5 Most Relevant Hashtags

Research says five hashtags is the best number for Instagram

Too much of anything can spoil things for everyone. And this is true with hashtags too. Instagram limits users to 30 hashtags per photo, but even that’s a bit too much most times. Research has found that five hashtags is the best number to aim for. You can go up or down a couple, but that’s the ideal. So watch how your photos are doing, and start using the tags that are most successful for you.

If you want to throw in more tags, use this trick: Don’t include the hashtags in your caption, since that clutters up the caption. Instead, make the hashtags your first comment on the photo. That way, your photo is clean while still appropriately labelled.

Strategically Using Uncommon Hashtags

Uncommon and Unusual hashtags get noticed on instagram

Here’s how it works. When you add a hashtag to your photo, that image gets listed in the chronological order of all images with that tag. So if it’s a popular tag, your image will quickly go down the list for people checking out that tag. But if it’s an uncommon tag, then it’ll stay relevant at the top for longer.

It’s difficult to find the balance to reach “uncommon but popular enough”, but after spending some time on Instagram, you should get the hang of it. Remember, unusual Instagram hashtags get noticed too, so have some fun with this.

If You’re an Expert, Flaunt It

Instagram experts and influencers

Don’t forget, Instagram is inherently a social network. And like with any network, it will pay to get in an influencer’s good books. Influencers often look for peers through expertise, so if you are an expert in any field, then add hashtags which showcase that.

Writing specific words that only someone with the same knowledge as you would know, means that only someone with the same knowledge as you would search for that hashtag. And just like that, you might end up making a valuable connection.

Other Ways to Get Noticed on Instagram

Hashtags are an easy and quick way to get on the radar of other people on Instagram. But even if you use them wisely, you can do better. If you really want to get noticed on Instagram, you need to up your game.

There are other successful methods to try, like identifying your own niche, developing a photo style, and connecting with influencers. Read these tips to gain real followers on Instagram and start building an audience.

Read the full article: How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags for More Likes & Followers

What Is Bitmoji and How Can You Make Your Own?

Have you ever wished you could use a personalized cartoon image as your profile picture on social media? It’s easier than you think. You just need to understand everything there is to know about Bitmoji. And this article explains what Bitmoji are and how you can create your own. What Is Bitmoji? Bitmoji is owned by Snap Inc., the same company that’s behind Snapchat. Snap bought Bitmoji for more than $100 million in 2016. At its core, Bitmoji lets you create a cartoon avatar of yourself. You can then use your avatar as a consistent profile picture across all your…

Read the full article: What Is Bitmoji and How Can You Make Your Own?

Have you ever wished you could use a personalized cartoon image as your profile picture on social media? It’s easier than you think.

You just need to understand everything there is to know about Bitmoji. And this article explains what Bitmoji are and how you can create your own.

What Is Bitmoji?

Bitmoji is owned by Snap Inc., the same company that’s behind Snapchat. Snap bought Bitmoji for more than $100 million in 2016.

At its core, Bitmoji lets you create a cartoon avatar of yourself. You can then use your avatar as a consistent profile picture across all your favorite apps.

Bitmoji is available in the Chrome Web Store, and there’s a Bitmoji app available for Android and iOS. You can also access your Bitmoji account via a web app.

Many other apps and services have special integrations with Bitmoji creations. These include Snapchat, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Gboard, Slack, and iMessage. But even if your most-used apps aren’t directly integrated, your avatar is never more than a copy and paste away.

Download: Bitmoji for Android | iOS | Chrome (Free)

How to Make a Bitmoji Account

To begin, you need to make a free Bitmoji account. You can either create an entirely fresh account or use your Snapchat credentials.

You can only make a new Bitmoji account through the smartphone apps or the Chrome extension. It is not possible to create a new account on the web.

You’ll need to enter the various personal details, choose a password, and select your gender. Now you’re ready to customize your avatar.

What Customization Features Are Available?

You can either upload a selfie or design your avatar manually.

You can customize your skin tone, facial structure, hair color, outfit, headwear, body type, and more. There are also three different broad themes to choose from—Deluxe, Bitstrips, and Classic.

Some outfits will only appear for a limited time around sporting events, annual holidays, and other events. Sadly, you won’t be able to rock that Santa outfit year-round.

Once you’ve finished with the design process, you can also start using the vast repository of stickers. There’s one for just about every occasion, emotion, and action imaginable.

What Is the Bitmoji Keyboard?

The Bitmoji keyboard is what allows you to use your avatar in other apps on your device.

Depending on which platform you’re using, the instructions for setting up and using the feature will differ.

For example, on Android, the process is as simple as opening the keyboard, tapping on the Stickers icon, choosing the Bitmoji tab, and selecting the avatar you want to use.

On iOS, you’ll need to go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard. Tap on Bitmoji and slide the toggle next to Allow Full Access into the On position. To access the keyboard while writing a message, tap on the globe icon and select the desired avatar.

How to Use Bitmoji in Snapchat

One of the places where you can have the most fun with your newly created avatar is in Snapchat. Snapchat has lots of emojis, filters, and trophies—they are the perfect complement to the vibe that your Bitmoji gives off.

Given the fact that the two apps are owned by the same company, you’d expect the integration to be easy to set up. It doesn’t disappoint.

To get started, open your Snapchat app and tap on the Profile link in the upper left-hand corner of the camera screen. Next, tap on the Gear icon to enter Snapchat’s Settings menu. From the Settings menu, go to Bitmoji > Link Bitmoji.

To finish the connection process, agree to the confirmation screen when prompted.

(Note: Even if you used your Snapchat credentials to create your Bitmoji account, you will still need to complete the above steps to use your creations on the Snapchat network.)

Does Bitmoji Compromise Your Privacy?

It’s fair to say that Bitmoji doesn’t win any prizes when it comes to your privacy.

Obviously, the fact Snap owns both Snapchat and Bitmoji isn’t ideal for people who are concerned about a single company amassing too much data about them.

A few other privacy concerns include a request for full keyboard access and permissions to access your call history and contacts. The developer claims keyboard access is needed to “download your custom Bitmoji images from our server” and adds that the company is not “reading, transmitting or storing anything you type” at any time.

We explored all these issues in more detail when we discussed whether Bitmoji is a threat to your privacy.

(Note: Android and iOS users can both disable full keyboard access and instead copy and paste Bitmoji avatars directly from the Bitmoji app as needed).

Two More Bitmoji Tips

We’ll leave you with two more Bitmoji tips that you’ll probably find useful.

Firstly, if you suddenly can’t access your Bitmoji avatars from your device’s main keyboard, the issue is almost always linked to full keyboard access. Simply toggling the feature on and off should remedy the problem.

To toggle the permission on iOS, head back to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards and select Bitmoji. On Android, head to System > Languages and input > Keyboard and input methods > Virtual keyboard > Manage keyboards.

Secondly, there’s a sneaky workaround to share your Bitmoji creations with other apps even if Bitmoji does not appear in the other app’s Share menu. Just open the Bitmoji app, tap on an icon, and save it to your photos. Then, when you want to share an avatar, use the newly saved picture instead.

Customize Your Social Media Presence

With the big social media networks boasting hundreds of millions of users apiece, it’s increasingly hard to stand out from the crowd. Using Bitmoji is one way you can give your online presence a dash of extra pizazz.

There are alternatives though. Google can now turn your selfies into stickers, and there are a host of other apps designed to change messaging for the better.

Read the full article: What Is Bitmoji and How Can You Make Your Own?

Audit Facebook and overhaul competition law, say MEPs responding to breach scandals

After holding a series of hearings in the wake of the Facebook -Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal this summer, and attending a meeting with Mark Zuckerberg himself in May, the European Union parliament’s civil liberties committee has called for an update to competition rules to reflect what it dubs “the digital reality”, urging EU institutions […]

After holding a series of hearings in the wake of the Facebook -Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal this summer, and attending a meeting with Mark Zuckerberg himself in May, the European Union parliament’s civil liberties committee has called for an update to competition rules to reflect what it dubs “the digital reality”, urging EU institutions to look into the “possible monopoly” of big tech social media platforms.

Top level EU competition law has not touched on the social media axis of big tech yet, with the Commission concentrating recent attention on mobile chips (Qualcomm); and mobile and ecommerce platforms (mostly Google; but Amazon’s use of merchant data is in its sights too); as well as probing Apple’s tax structure in Ireland.

But last week Europe’s data protection supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli, told us that closer working between privacy regulators and the EU’s Competition Commission is on the cards, as regional lawmakers look to evolve their oversight frameworks to respond to growing ethical concerns about use and abuse of big data, and indeed to be better positioned to respond to fast-paced technology-fuelled change.

Local EU antitrust regulators, including in Germany and France, have also been investigating the Google, Facebook adtech duopoly on several fronts in recent years.

The Libe committee’s call is the latest political call to spin up and scale up antitrust effort and attention around social media. 

The committee also says it wants to see much greater accountability and transparency on “algorithmic-processed data by any actor, be it private or public” — signalling a belief that GDPR does not go far enough on that front.

Libe committee chair and rapporteur, MEP Claude Moraes, has previously suggested the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal could help inform and shape an update to Europe’s ePrivacy rules, which remain at the negotiation stage with disagreements over scope and proportionality.

But every big tech data breach and security scandal lends weight to the argument that stronger privacy rules are indeed required.

In yesterday’s resolution, the Libe committee also called for an audit of the advertising industry on social media — echoing a call made by the UK’s data protection watchdog, the ICO, this summer for an ‘ethical pause‘ on the use of online ads for political purposes.

The ICO made that call right after announcing it planned to issue Facebook with the maximum fine possible under UK data protection law — again for the Cambridge Analytica breach.

While the Cambridge Analytica scandal — in which the personal information of as many as 87 million Facebook users was extracted from the platform without the knowledge or consent of every person, and passed to the now defunct political consultancy (which used it to create psychographic profiles of US voters for election campaigning purposes) — has triggered this latest round of political scrutiny of the social media behemoth, last month Facebook revealed another major data breach, affecting at least 50M users — underlining the ongoing challenge it has to live up to claims of having ‘locked the platform down’.

In light of both breaches, the Libe committee has now called for EU bodies to be allowed to fully audit Facebook — to independently assess its data protection and security practices.

Buttarelli also told us last week that it’s his belief none of the tech giants are directing adequate resource at keeping user data safe.

And with Facebook having already revealed a second breach that’s potentially even larger than Cambridge Analytica fresh focus and political attention is falling on the substance of its security practices, not just its claims.

While the Libe committee’s MEPs say they have taken note of steps Facebook made in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal to try to improve user privacy, they point out it has still not yet carried out the promised full internal audit.

Facebook has never said how long this historical app audit will take. Though it has given some progress reports, such as detailing additional suspicious activity it has found to date, with 400 apps suspended at the last count. (One app, called myPersonality, also got banned for improper data controls.)

The Libe committee is now urging Facebook to allow the EU Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) and the European Data Protection Board, which plays a key role in applying the region’s data protection rules, to carry out “a full and independent audit” — and present the findings to the European Commission and Parliament and national parliaments.

It has also recommended that Facebook makes “substantial modifications to its platform” to comply with EU data protection law.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment on the recommendations — including specifically asking the company whether it’s open to an external audit of its platform.

At the time of writing Facebook had not responded to our question but we’ll update this report with any response.

Commenting in a statement, Libe chair Moraes said: “This resolution makes clear that we expect measures to be taken to protect citizens’ right to private life, data protection and freedom of expression. Improvements have been made since the scandal, but, as the Facebook data breach of 50 million accounts showed just last month, these do not go far enough.”

The committee has also made a series of proposals for reducing the risk of social media being used as an attack vector for election interference — including:

  • applying conventional “off-line” electoral safeguards, such as rules on transparency and limits to spending, respect for silence periods and equal treatment of candidates;
  • making it easy to recognize online political paid advertisements and the organisation behind them;
  • banning profiling for electoral purposes, including use of online behaviour that may reveal political preferences;
  • social media platforms should label content shared by bots and speed up the process of removing fake accounts;
  • compulsory post-campaign audits to ensure personal data are deleted;
  • investigations by member states with the support of Eurojust if necessary, into alleged misuse of the online political space by foreign forces.

A couple of weeks ago, the Commission outted a voluntary industry Code of Practice aimed at tackling online disinformation which several tech platforms and adtech companies had agreed to sign up to, and which also presses for action in some of the same areas — including fake accounts and bots.

However the code is not only voluntary but does not bind signatories to any specific policy steps or processes so it looks like its effectiveness will be as difficult to quantify as its accountability will lack bite.

A UK parliamentary committee which has also been probing political disinformation this year also put out a report this summer with a package of proposed measures — with some similar ideas but also suggesting a levy on social media to ‘defend democracy’.

Meanwhile Facebook itself has been working on increasing transparency around advertisers on its platform, and putting in place some authorization requirements for political advertisers (though starting in the US first).

But few politicians appear ready to trust that the steps Facebook is taking will be enough to avoid a repeat of, for example, the mass Kremlin propaganda smear campaign that targeted the 2016 US presidential election.

The Libe committee has also urged all EU institutions, agencies and bodies to verify that their social media pages, and any analytical and marketing tools they use, “should not by any means put at risk the personal data of citizens”.

And it goes as far as suggesting that EU bodies could even “consider closing their Facebook accounts” — as a measure to protect the personal data of every individual contacting them.

The committee’s full resolution was passed by 41 votes to 10 and 1 abstention. And will be put to a vote by the full EU Parliament during the next plenary session later this month.

In it, the Libe also renews its call for the suspension of the EU-US Privacy Shield.

The data transfer arrangement, which is used by thousands of businesses to authorize transfers of EU users’ personal data across the Atlantic, is under growing pressure ahead of an annual review this month, as the Trump administration has failed entirely to respond as EU lawmakers had hoped their US counterparts would at the time of the agreement being inked in the Obama era, back in 2016.

The EU parliament also called for Privacy Shield to be suspended this summer. And while the Commission did not act on those calls, pressure has continued to mount from MEPs and EU consumer and digital and civil rights bodies.

During the Privacy Shield review process this month the Commission will be pressuring US counterparts to try to gain concessions that it can sell back home as ‘compliance’.

But without very major concessions — and who would bank on that, given the priorities of the current US administration — the future of the precariously placed mechanism looks increasingly uncertain.

Even as more oversight coming down the pipe to rule social media platforms looks all but inevitable in Europe.

Snap Originals Are Short Snapchat TV Shows

Watching TV shows on your smartphone may not sound like a good idea, but more people are doing exactly that. Whether it’s YouTube videos or Netflix Originals, people seem happy to watch video content on their slightly-too-small smartphone screen. This has led Snapchat to commission original programming for its platform. And shows such as ESPN’s SportsCenter and NBC’s Stay Tuned are racking up millions of views. Buoyed by this success, Snapchat is getting a dozen new Snap Originals… How to Watch Snap Originals These Snap Originals are essentially short TV shows made exclusively for Snapchat. Which means they’re all around…

Read the full article: Snap Originals Are Short Snapchat TV Shows

Watching TV shows on your smartphone may not sound like a good idea, but more people are doing exactly that. Whether it’s YouTube videos or Netflix Originals, people seem happy to watch video content on their slightly-too-small smartphone screen.

This has led Snapchat to commission original programming for its platform. And shows such as ESPN’s SportsCenter and NBC’s Stay Tuned are racking up millions of views. Buoyed by this success, Snapchat is getting a dozen new Snap Originals

How to Watch Snap Originals

These Snap Originals are essentially short TV shows made exclusively for Snapchat. Which means they’re all around five minutes long, all filmed vertically, and all designed to make the most of the platform they’re being shown on.

This means there will be new episodes released every day, and Lenses and Filters released for each show. There will also be Show Portals, which let you step inside scenes from the shows. There will, unfortunately, also be unskippable ads to sit through.

The first Snap Originals to be released are Co-Ed, a new comedy about life at college, Class of Lies, a thriller about true crime podcasters who find themselves investigating a crime, and Endless Summer, a documentary series about Laguna Beach.

Those first three Snap Originals are available to watch right now, with another nine due to debut in the coming months. To find the shows, either search Snapchat for them by name, or open the Discover tab, which will soon have a dedicated section for shows.

Will Snap Originals Succeed or Fail?

With more people seemingly happy to watch video on their smartphone, Snapchat is right to try and take advantage of this trend. However, the success or failure of Snap Originals will ultimately come down to the content, so let’s hope these shows are actually good.

Snapchat isn’t perfect, so we’ve previously written about everything wrong with Snapchat, according to millenials. Some people are even suggesting Snapchat is the new Facebook. Still, teenagers seem to love Snapchat, regardless.

Read the full article: Snap Originals Are Short Snapchat TV Shows

How to Repost a Video or Picture on Instagram

While most Instagram users tend to post original content, there are plenty of accounts featuring other people’s work. There are multiple ways to repost photos or videos to your Instagram feed or Instagram Stories. A third-party app can also make quick work of reposting images straight into your feed. Repost to Your Feed With an App There are plenty of iOS and Android apps for reposting photos and videos to Instagram, and for the most part, they offer a similar experience. Most of the available apps are free, but will often have additional features limited to paid upgrades. (iOS app Regrammer…

Read the full article: How to Repost a Video or Picture on Instagram

While most Instagram users tend to post original content, there are plenty of accounts featuring other people’s work. There are multiple ways to repost photos or videos to your Instagram feed or Instagram Stories. A third-party app can also make quick work of reposting images straight into your feed.

Repost to Your Feed With an App

There are plenty of iOS and Android apps for reposting photos and videos to Instagram, and for the most part, they offer a similar experience.

Most of the available apps are free, but will often have additional features limited to paid upgrades. (iOS app Regrammer is one of the few options available that is completely free, with no strings attached.)

Repost for Instagram

Repost for Instagram is a popular option available for both Android and iOS users, and all the key features in the app are available for free.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Use the Instagram app to find the picture or video you want to repost. Tap the three grey dots at the top right corner of the post and tap Copy Link
  2. You should receive a phone notification. Tap the notification Get Copied Link to open up the image in the Repost for Instagram app.
  3.  You can choose where a subtle watermark with the Instagram user’s name will appear and choose between a light or dark theme. (To remove the watermark completely, you’ll have to pay for a $4.99 upgrade).
  4. Tap Repost</strong >and the caption will automatically be copied to your clipboard. (If you’re reposting a video, you may have to wait a minute or two for this step to complete.)
  5. In the popup window that opens up, tap Open in Instagram.
  6. Go through the usual steps of posting the image: crop, add filter, tap and hold to paste the caption, and tap Share.

The beginning of the caption will include: #Repost @username (@get_repost) but you can remove this before posting if you’d like to.

If you have multiple Instagram accounts, make sure that you search for and select the image using the Instagram account you want to post from. This way when Instagram reopens, you’ll be logged in to the correct account.

Download: Repost for Instagram for iOS | Android (Free)

Repost Photos Using Screenshots

instagram post

If you’d rather not use a third-party app, a simple way to share a photo to Instagram is to take a screenshot on your phone and upload it to Instagram. That said, be sure to add the original Instagram user’s name to your caption so that you can properly credit them.

Take the Screenshot

How you take a screenshot will depend on what kind of phone you have.  Taking screenshots on Android differs by manufacturer, but the most common method is to hold down the Side and Volume Down buttons. Samsung users can take a screenshot by holding down the Power and Home buttons.

If your iPhone has a physical Home button, you can take a screenshot by pressing the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons together. To take a screenshot on an iPhone X, you’ll want to press the Side and Volume Up buttons.

Get Your Screenshot and Caption Ready

You don’t need to crop your screenshot before posting it as you can just pan and zoom to show only the part of the screenshotted image you’re reposting.

In the caption, be sure to add the original photographer’s username so you can let them know you’re sharing their work. You can tag the user by tapping Tag People when adding a caption.

If you want to copy their original caption, it will probably be easiest to do it using the Instagram web interface.

You can also use a handy little trick to post images to Instagram using Chrome if you’re saving the Instagram images or screenshots to your computer instead of your phone.

Repost Downloaded Videos

If you’d like to repost a video, you can also download it from Instagram first. There are a few ways you can download an Instagram video to your phone or computer:

  • You can create a rule using IFTTT and automatically download any Instagram videos you’ve liked.
  • Download the video to your phone using Android app QuickSave for Instagram or iOS app Repost for Instagram Photo Video (which both also have repost features built-in.)
  • Or download the video using a website like Dredown. This site works across desktop and mobile browsers. If you download it on your desktop, you’ll have to transfer the video file to your phone.

Once you’ve got the video on your phone, you can post it to Instagram as you would any other video, using the same guidelines above for captioning and tagging.

Repost to Your Stories

If you want to repost an image or video to your Instagram Stories, Instagram has incorporated this feature into the app. Once you find the post you want to add to your Stories, do the following:

  1. Tap the Send button directly beneath the image.
  2. At the top of the list, tap Add Post to Your Story.
  3. The image will open up in the Instagram Stories interface with the Instagram user’s handle included beneath the photo. You can add stickers, text, and more. You could, for example, use the text feature to tag the Instagram user so that they are notified that you added their image to your stories.
  4. Tap the + button to publish your Story.

Videos reposted to your Stories won’t play until your followers tap and open the original post.

It’s also worth noting that while this feature may be available to all, if an Instagram user has the option disabled, you won’t be able to share their images to your Stories.

To check if you have the feature enabled go to Settings > Resharing to Stories > Allow Feed Resharing, and make sure the feature is toggled On.

Don’t Forget About Copyright!

There are a few things to keep in mind when reposting other people’s content. Not everyone likes to have their content reposted on Instagram, so be prepared that someone may reach out to you and ask you to take down their image.

And when you do repost someone else’s content, be sure to always give credit where credit is due by including their username in the caption. This way, your followers can go to their feed and see more of their work, and they’ll also be notified that you posted their photo or video.

If you’re looking for more ways to liven up your Instagram feed, don’t forget about these Instagram apps everyone should be using.

Read the full article: How to Repost a Video or Picture on Instagram

7 Psychological Tricks to Build Your Twitter Following

Building a large Twitter following isn’t something that happens overnight. But if you capitalize on human psychology, you can speed up that process a little. Most people would deny that they are driven by psychological needs and desires, but the evidence proves otherwise. In this article we explore some of the tactics you can use to entice people to follow you, and quickly boost your Twitter following. 1. Retweet Images With Strong Engagement There is a lot of research out there showing that tweets with images get more engagement. Buffer conducted research that showed Twitter posts with images are retweeted…

Read the full article: 7 Psychological Tricks to Build Your Twitter Following

Building a large Twitter following isn’t something that happens overnight. But if you capitalize on human psychology, you can speed up that process a little.

Most people would deny that they are driven by psychological needs and desires, but the evidence proves otherwise.

In this article we explore some of the tactics you can use to entice people to follow you, and quickly boost your Twitter following.

1. Retweet Images With Strong Engagement

There is a lot of research out there showing that tweets with images get more engagement. Buffer conducted research that showed Twitter posts with images are retweeted 18 percent more often than those without.

Beyond just using images is how many people have already engaged with a post. When you retweet something that catches someone’s eye, they may consider following you if the post interests them.

On Psychology Today, Rob Henderson explains that to get people to act, you just need to convince them that other people are already taking action.

“Instead, we rely on signals like popularity. If everyone else is buying something, the reasoning goes, there is a good chance the item is worth our attention.”

You can capitalize on this by selecting things to retweet that already have high engagement numbers.

When people scroll down your timeline and see high engagement numbers at the bottom of these posts, it appears as though the engagement is with one of your own posts.

This gives the impression that a lot of people engage with your tweets and that you’re someone worth following. At the very least, it shows that you have your finger on the pulse of what’s popular.

2. Play on People’s Fear of Missing Out

When people are drawn to engage with your posts, they’re more likely to follow you for providing that positive experience. One of the best ways to entice that engagement is to trigger curiosity.

Marketers pay a lot of attention to what sparks a consumer’s curiosity enough so that they’ll try a new product. There are many ways to spark someone’s curiosity as they’re scrolling through their Twitter feed.

In his book The Psychology of Curiosity, psychologist George Loewenstein explains that there are five ways to induce “involuntary curiosity” in someone.

  1. Pose a question: When you pose an open question that challenges what people think they know, it triggers a curiosity response. People want to know if what they believe to be true is actually true. Loewenstein explains that this approach, “contronts the individual directly with missing information and is therefore perhaps the most straightforward curiosity inducer.”
  2. Guess an outcome: If you mention a news event in your post and comment on an expected outcome, it can entice people to follow you just to learn what happens. It can also entice people to follow you just to see how you react when you’re right or wrong.
  3. Violate expectations: If you really want to catch someone’s eye, post something that flies in the face of their expectations. Sharing new, shocking technology with followers suits this purpose well.
  4. Hint at hidden knowledge: If you’re an expert in a certain subject, craft your post in a way that suggests you have an important piece of information that people are missing. One tactic is saying a particular news article made you laugh. Loewenstein explains, “Watching someone chuckle as he or she reads a news article is likely to make one curious to see the article.”
  5. Bring up the past: Posting about something someone knew when they were younger, but might have forgotten, works well. This is more common on Facebook, but just as effective on Twitter. Loewenstein says, “Consider the enormous curiosity that is evoked by the recognition that one knew a piece of information but has forgotten it.”

Any of these tactics will trigger more engagement with your tweets. And when people engage with your posts, they’re more likely to follow you. Especially if you introduce them to something new or interesting.

3. Stay Positive

People are more likely to share or respond to positive tweets over negative one.

According to The Daily Dot, several studies conducted by scientists at the University of California and even Facebook confirmed that “positive emotions are more infectious than negative ones.”

This means that when someone sees a positive, funny post, they’re far more likely to like it and share it.

Better yet, researchers found that such tweets even have a positive psychological effect that spreads outside of Twitter. This means, every positive tweet you send spreads happiness out into the world well beyond the internet.

4. Use Embedded Images

A common way people use Twitter is just to scroll through their feed. They scan for interesting information they can gather straight from the tweets.

This means that the more information you can provide to people without requiring them to click through, the more likely they’re going to see value in your tweet.

Infographics (how to make cool infographics with Piktochart) are a fantastic way to do this.

Another common approach is to embed video into tweets. Making your own videos for social networks isn’t too difficult either. It takes very little effort for someone to pause scrolling just to watch a quick video you’ve shared.

And if you pepper in somewhat of a positive message in there as well, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Embedding images and videos with lots of information in a small space is an effective way to drive engagement.

5. Target People Like You

Business Insider highlighted a study by Theodore Newcomb, who found that people are most attracted to people who are similar to them.

In his research, Newcomb put subjects in a University of Michigan house to live together. He measured their stance on different controversial topics, and by the end of the study found that his subjects gravitated more toward housemates who shared their beliefs.

This seems like common sense, but it’s actually a very powerful tool on social media.

You can search social networks by hashtags that match the niche you post about, and identify the people there who hold the same position you do on different topics.

When you spot some tweets from anyone with an interest that matches yours, you can take any approach to attract their attention. This could be a reply or a retweet. It’s even better if the person has a large number of followers. You could potentially grab the attention of those followers as well, especially if the person replies to or likes your comment.

Almost every time you do this, you’ll get some kind of response. Sometimes the person will return the favor and promote you or your work.

twitter hashtags

6. Post How-Tos

Quicksprout has an interesting article looking into which kind of posts get the most retweets on Twitter. This determines that how-to style tweets received more than three times more retweets than any other type of text-based tweet.

The psychology behind this is fairly obvious. If you touch on a topic that fills in someone’s knowledge gap, you’re likely to see engagement.

And when you’ve offered someone something useful to learn, they’re more likely to follow you in hopes that you’ll likely offer more to learn in the future as well.

7. If All Else Fails, Resort to Flattery

One study by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology revealed just how effective flattery is in advertising.

In the study, researchers showed different ads to student volunteers. Some of the ads flattered them, and others didn’t. Researchers found that the participants were more likely to use coupons offered by the brands that had complimented them.

This was true even though the students had, “discounted the value of the compliment because of its impersonal nature and the ulterior motive.”

The study revealed just how effective the psychology of flattery is. And this is just as true on Twitter as it is anywhere else.

It’s easy to do this when you’re browsing Twitter hashtags on the topics you care about. Whenever you come across something great someone tweeted, just take a moment and offer a compliment. It’s something every one of us would appreciate, so why not do it for others?

Most of the time it will win you another follower. At the very least, it can land you a like and a retweet to all of their followers.

Growing Your Twitter Following

Without a doubt, at times it can feel like a lot of work to grow your number of followers on Twitter. But a carefully curated list of followers is far more useful than a high volume of random ones.

It means the people who follow you have followed you for good reasons. So remember to  provide them with the valuable information and commentary they signed up for.

And if you’re just getting started on Twitter or you really don’t know where to begin, make sure to check out our definitive guide on how to use Twitter.

Read the full article: 7 Psychological Tricks to Build Your Twitter Following