After recently finishing my dissertation on body image and how advertising can affect women’s perception of body image I decided to look into how social media can affect it. Typing the words size zero into tumblr made me die in a little inside admittedly. Myself being 5’3 and a size 8, people often assume I barely eat (this isn’t true at all!). Anyway, recently social media has introduced a ban on such words as ‘pro ana’ and ‘thin spo’. Even though these social media sites have vowed to stop the promotion of ‘thinspo’ no amount of monitoring will completely eliminate social media’s ability to glorify the idea of the ‘thin ideal’.
So recently Facebook has rolled out a promotion where you can pay to ensure that your posts will be seen by your Facebook friends. Since it’s launch in 2004 there have been many rumours that Facebook will soon become a pay-only site however nothing ever came of said rumours. This latest money-making scheme comes very soon after the controversy that the value of Facebook was decreasing. This rumour however has become the truth.
There is now an official video on the social networking site telling users how the service works. Whenever you post on Facebook it is often lost in the amount of status updates that are on people’s newsfeeds. These posts are often only restricted to people that you are friends with. The pay to post service is aimed at businesses who want to promote their business more. The costs range from $5 to ensure 700 see a post to $20 to reach 2,200 people although the pricing could change. You either choose for the post to be seen be everybody or to be seen by certain people. For example if it was a local cafe using the pay to post service then they could choose to only promote to their local customers.
I’m not very convinced by this whole ‘pay to post’ idea. All it is is a ploy to get more people to ‘like’ your business. Just because you have x amounts of ‘likes’ on your business’ Facebook page doesn’t mean anything. What matters is how well your business is actually doing in real life and not how popular it is in cyber space. Tumblr also has a similar idea with the whole pay to post idea where you can $1 to highlight your post. This again the same problem with it getting lost under the whole tirrade of people posting other stuff on the various social networking sites. My prediction is that Zuckerburg will soon roll it out to normal Facebook users and there will be uproar about it. Here’s a tip Mark: don’t fix what isn’t broken
What I am referring to is of course the new fangled app Instagram which allows users of iPhones (and now also Android phones) to upload their photos onto Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr with a cool effect on them. Original? I think not. One of the ways that it appeals to iPhone and Android users is the fact that it is free and people love getting stuff for free. Even though it was initially launched in 2010 it seems to have become a lot more popular and well-known since Facebook bought it recently. Their purchase of Instagram comes just a week after it was launched on Android. It seems to be that Mark Zuckerburg wants to turn Facebook from a social networking site into an ‘umbrella’ company. Facebook already own MySpace and now they own Instagram
OK, so you’re probably thinking it’s a tad hypocritical of me to be giving my opinion on social networking when I have a Tumblr, Polyvore and Facebook. As much as I love social networking there are pros and cons of it as there are with anything. Many people spend hours on these social networking sites uploading photos, updating statuses, talking to people and creating connections. Social networking has been around for the past 10 years or so. Before that if we wanted to speak to them we had to ring them or even send them a letter!