Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Teenagers and Adolescence

Instagram Struggles With Fears of Losing Its ‘Pipeline’: Young Users

Technology
With the leadership changes, Facebook went all out to turn Instagram into a main attraction for young audiences, four former employees said. That coincided with the realization that Facebook itself, which was grappling with data privacy and other scandals, would never be a teen destination, the people said.Instagram began concentrating on the “teen time spent” data point, three former employees said. The goal was to drive up the amount of time that teenagers were on the app with features including Instagram Live, a broadcasting tool, and Instagram TV, where people upload videos that run as long as an hour.Instagram also increased its global marketing budget. In 2018, it allocated $67.2 million to marketing. In 2019, that increased to a planned $127.3 million, then to $186.3 million last ye...

Teenage Girls Say Instagram’s Mental Health Impacts Are No Surprise

Technology
Annie Zhu got an Instagram account during her freshman year of high school. At first, she curated her profile carefully, showing off different outfits and looks. She followed body positivity and body neutrality accounts. But she still sometimes compared herself with others, and “it can make me feel bad,” she said.So when she recently listened to a podcast revealing how Facebook’s research concluded that Instagram, which it owns, was toxic for teenage girls, she said, the findings “didn’t surprise me at all.”“In my past experiences, it has been a huge struggle,” Ms. Zhu, an 18-year-old Stanford University freshman, said in an interview.Among young people, the idea that Instagram can hurt someone’s self-image is widely discussed. Ms. Zhu said she and her friends talked about how social inter...
Facebook Is Weaker Than We Knew

Facebook Is Weaker Than We Knew

Technology
It has become fashionable among Facebook critics to emphasize the company’s size and dominance while bashing its missteps. In a Senate hearing on Thursday, lawmakers grilled Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, with questions about the company’s addictive product design and the influence it has over its billions of users. Many of the questions to Ms. Davis were hostile, but as with most Big Tech hearings, there was an odd sort of deference in the air, as if the lawmakers were asking: Hey, Godzilla, would you please stop stomping on Tokyo?But if these leaked documents proved anything, it is how un-Godzilla-like Facebook feels. Internally, the company worries that it is losing power and influence, not gaining it, and its own research shows that many of its products aren’t thrivi...

They Want to Hand Your Kid a Debit Card. What Do You Do?

Business
Then, a few basics. If you’re seeking regular allowance distribution and management, most services can handle that. But if you’re paying your children for chores and want to check tasks off on a line-item basis before pushing money onto a kid’s card, that’s a feature that you should select for specifically. Gohenry does this, and FamZoo helped pioneer it.Also, what financial behaviors do you wish to encourage — or change? Many parents like to reward savings with automatic interest-rate boosts or goal-based bonuses. “That allows parents to exaggerate the point to make the point,” said Tim Sheehan, Greenlight’s co-founder. So check for that feature if it’s important to you. Greenlight offers it, and FamZoo has a strong offering, too.Then, there’s the goal of overarching financial literacy. T...
Facebook Struggles to Quell Uproar Over Instagram’s Effect on Teens

Facebook Struggles to Quell Uproar Over Instagram’s Effect on Teens

Technology
SAN FRANCISCO — Over the past few weeks, top Facebook executives assembled virtually for a series of emergency meetings.In one gathering last weekend, half a dozen managers — including Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, and Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs — discussed pausing the development of an Instagram service for children ages 13 and under, said two people briefed on the meeting. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, weighed in to approve the decision, the people said.The meetings continued this week, with a larger group that included Facebook’s “Strategic Response” teams, which are overseen by Mr. Clegg and Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer, the people said. The executives debated what to do about internal research around teenagers and Instagra...

Facebook Downplays Internal Research Released on Eve of Hearing

Business
Facebook on Wednesday published two internal research reports about its photo-sharing app, Instagram, and downplayed their conclusions, as the company prepared for two congressional hearings in the next week that are focused on its products’ effects on children’s mental health.The reports — “Teen Mental Health Deep Dive,” published internally in October 2019, and “Hard Life Moments,” published in November 2019 — were accompanied by annotations from Facebook that sought to contextualize the limitations of the research and chastised its own researchers for using imprecise language.In one slide, with a title that said “one in five teens say that Instagram makes them feel worse about themselves, with UK girls the most negative,” Facebook wrote in its annotation that the research had not been i...
The Teenagers Are Taking Over Tennis. That Might Not End Well.

The Teenagers Are Taking Over Tennis. That Might Not End Well.

Sports
“I thought I was just going to just keep going,” he said. “It doesn’t work like that. Same work you did to get up there, the same work you need to keep going, keep working harder.”Despite the cautionary tales, it is nearly impossible not to be swept up in the excitement of watching new talent burst onto the scene at one of the biggest showcases in sports. It is a breathless experience that tennis has long thrived on.Alcaraz, a Spaniard already burdened by a nickname, the Next Rafa, a reference to his countryman, the 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, said he knew he had become a subject of fascination back home over the past few days.“I’m trying not to think about this,” he said Sunday after beating Peter Gojowczyk of Germany in the fourth round, his second consecutive five-set win. “...
Instagram Introduces Changes to Protect Teenagers on Its Platform

Instagram Introduces Changes to Protect Teenagers on Its Platform

Technology
Facebook on Tuesday unveiled changes to Instagram’s advertising and privacy policies that it said would protect teenagers, following years of criticism that the photo-sharing site has not done enough to prevent underage users from sexual predators and bullying.The social network, which owns Instagram, said it would change its advertising policy to reduce hyper-targeted ads to teens. Advertisers on both Instagram and Facebook, which previously used people’s interests and activity across other websites to target their ads, will now only be able to use age, gender and location to show ads to users under 18.New Instagram accounts created by those under 16 will also be private by default, meaning the account’s posts can only be viewed by approved followers, the company said. Facebook said its r...
Juul Is Fighting to Keep Its E-Cigarettes on the U.S. Market

Juul Is Fighting to Keep Its E-Cigarettes on the U.S. Market

Technology
Sales have plunged by $500 million. The work force has been cut by three-quarters. Operations in 14 countries have been abandoned. Many state and local lobbying campaigns have been shut down.Juul Labs, the once high-flying e-cigarette company that became a public health villain to many people over its role in the teenage vaping surge, has been operating as a shadow of its former self, spending the pandemic largely out of the public eye in what it calls “reset” mode. Now its very survival is at stake as it mounts an all-out campaign to persuade the Food and Drug Administration to allow it to continue to sell its products in the United States.The agency is trying to meet a Sept. 9 deadline to decide whether Juul’s devices and nicotine pods have enough public health benefit as a safer alterna...
Teens Are Rarely Hospitalized With Covid, but Cases Can Be Severe

Teens Are Rarely Hospitalized With Covid, but Cases Can Be Severe

Technology
The researchers also tallied Covid-19 hospitalizations among children ages 12 to 17 from March 1, 2020, to April 24, 2021. The data came from Covid-Net, a population-based surveillance system in 14 states, covering about 10 percent of Americans.Updated June 6, 2021, 2:38 p.m. ETThe number of adolescents hospitalized with Covid-19 declined in January and February of this year, but rose again in March and April. From Jan. 1, 2021, to March 31, 204 adolescents were likely hospitalized primarily for Covid-19. Most of the children had at least one underlying medical condition, such as obesity, asthma or a neurological disorder.The rate may have increased this spring because of the more contagious variants of the coronavirus in circulation, as well as school reopenings that brought children...