In this day and age, it’s hard to live a full life without logging onto Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every now and then. The problem is that they can become a huge waste of time.
There are a couple of easy ways to prevent yourself from squandering hours looking at cat photos. Here’s how you can tighten up your social networking by several notches. There’s also one surefire way to prevent social media from ruining your life: delete everything. More on that in a second.
Turn Off Push Notifications (or uninstall your mobile apps)
You might be surprised at how much control you have over the notifications pushed out by the social media apps on your phone. Take Facebook, for example. Head to notification settings and you can turn alerts on or off for wall posts, comments, friend requests, photo tags, photo invitations, messages, and more.
The next time you’ve got five minutes spare at lunchtime, rather than aimlessly scrolling through your feeds, cut down on the notifications these apps are allowed to send, which should cut down on the number of times they pull you into their reach.
You can adjust notifications at the system level too—on Android or iOS, head to Settings then tap Notifications to make changes to specific apps. The available options vary between the mobile OSes of Google and Apple, but you can silence notifications (if you still want to know when something happens) or turn them off altogether.
If you want to take a really drastic step then you can uninstall these apps from your phone, but that might be a step too far for some, especially if you get important messages through Facebook or Twitter.
Be Ruthless With Who You’re Following
Based on our experiences, severely limiting the number of people you follow on social media makes a real difference to how often you’re tempted to dip in and out of your feeds. If those feeds are updating much less regularly, you can leave them for a day or more without a nagging doubt that you’re missing out on something.
Every social network makes it easy to unfollow or unfriend people from the web or through the official apps, so take some time to cull your friends list every time you open up the app. On Twitter you can probably ditch a few celebrities and company accounts too and not notice any difference.
There are various utilities around promising to help you mass unfollow a bunch of people at once but we’d be wary of connecting anything to your accounts that doesn’t come with a substantial user base or a personal recommendation from someone you trust.
Remember a lot of networks—from Twitter to Tumblr—come with very effective search tools, so you can always join in on the action if something new is happening online, whether it’s a political scandal or a new episode of Game of Thrones. You don’t necessarily have to be following huge numbers of people to stay involved.
Get Alerts Over Email, Not On Your Phone
Despite the rise of the smartphone, email clings on as a means of communication method that pretty much everyone has access to. If you’re simply logging into your social media apps to see if anything’s happened, get email alerts instead, then you can simply glance over the highlights at the end of the day to check for anything vital.
For example, open up Facebook Settings on the web and click Edit next to Email under the Notifications heading. From here you can specify what type of email alerts you want (and unsubscribe from the ones you don’t). On the Twitter Settings page on the web, click Email notifications and you can configure alerts in a similar way.
Of course this isn’t going to work for everyone. There’s not much point in switching to email alerts if you waste even more time browsing your inbox than you actually would on Facebook or Twitter. But it’s one way of making sure you’re not missing anything urgent, like a tweet from your favorite movie star, while you stay off the platforms in question. Just flick through your emails at the end of the day and if there’s nothing of note then you don’t need to hit any social media sites at all.
You can use the always-helpful IFTTT (If This Then That), too. It lets you create applets that activate when specific users tweet, or when you’re tagged in a photo, for example, so you can customize your alerts outside of Facebook and Twitter without having to log in and check for updates every fifteen minutes.
Don’t Rely On Willpower Alone
Judging by the number of applications and utilities around to help you limit your time on sites like Facebook and Twitter, there are a lot of people who feel it’s a problem. If you’re having trouble staying away from the pull of your social media feeds, then you can get help from a variety of sources.
Some of them are simple: TomatoTimer is a twist on the Pomodoro approach and splits your time into chunks so you can stay productive. Other options, such as StayFocusd for Chrome or LeechBlock for Firefox, let you specify certain sites you want to avoid at certain times. Of course you can easily uninstall these restrictions, but they might help you stay away from social media a little longer.
Cold Turkey (free for basic use) and Freedom (which will cost you but offers a free trial) run at the desktop level on macOS and Windows to give you even more control over which sites you do and do not want to be able to visit, and at which times. We also like KeepMeOut!, which is basic but effective, and works in your web browser by replacing your regular social network bookmarks with newly guarded ones.
There will be plenty of you who can get by fine without a browser extension but some people will appreciate the extra help, even if it’s just in measuring the time devoted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest throughout the day. The good news is, when you do log back in, there’ll probably be a backlog of interesting stuff to check through.
For The Love Of God: Delete Your Accounts
If all else fails, there’s one really easy step you can take to ensure that you’re no longer distracted by these sites: Delete your social media accounts. All of them.
The only issue with this route is that the social networks don’t make it easy to leave their services. The option is usually tucked away deep in the account settings. For example on Facebook, you’ll need to go to Settings > Security > Deactivate Your Account. On Twitter, visit to the Account Settings page. At the bottom you’ll see an option: Deactivate my account. Click the tiny link, and it should walk you through the deletion process. Then, throw your laptop or phone out of the highest window you can find and get back to living a normal, productive life.
Just one year ago, the average moviegoer might not have recognized the foul-mouthed mercenary named Deadpool behind this month’s latest superhero movie.
Yet after a deft marketing campaign by 20th Century Fox (FOXA) and leading man Ryan Reynolds, a few observers think the movie could be the first to blow the doors off theaters this year.
“This may be the first movie of 2016 that kind of elevates everything, and gets that box office momentum charged,” comScore (SCOR) senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian told CNBC.
Deadpool has gone from zero to hero in no small part due to a steady stream of social media tidbits that have kept the character’s fan base chomping at the bit. The decidedly not family friendly Marvel Comics anti-hero, also known as “The Merc[enary] with a Mouth” is about to be introduced to a wider audience.
The character, whose real name is Wade Wilson, first appeared 25 years ago as a disfigured, gun-toting bad guy in the pages of Marvel’s “New Mutants.” In subsequent solo series, Deadpool has morphed into a sardonic anti-hero known for breaking the fourth wall.
Just over a week before its release, the Internet conversation swirling around “Deadpool” is 98 percent positive, according to comScore’s PreAct. It’s also very large: The chatter trails only “Avengers: Age of Ultron” for a Marvel adaptation since PreAct began measuring the health of marketing campaigns in 2013.
That exposure is especially important for a film that not only features a relatively unknown character, but will be the first X-Men movie with an R-rating — and a hard R at that — according to Dergarabedian.
From the very beginning, Fox has harnessed the power of viral marketing to keep Deadpool top of mind in the social media sphere.The first on-camera appearance by Reynolds as Deadpool came during an April Fool’s interview on the entertainment show “Extra.” The spot ended with Deadpool knocking out host Mario Lopez after he insisted the movie couldn’t succeed with an R-rating.
That clip has gotten nearly 2 million views.
More recently, Fox ran a “12 Days of Deadpool” campaign leading up to a Christmas Day trailer release. And two weeks ago, the character cropped up in a salty public service announcement to raise awareness for testicular cancer prevention in partnership with the British nonprofit Ballboys.
The videos are drawing highly unusual levels of engagement. The ratio of people who click “thumbs up” on movie trailers and clips usually clocks in at .02 to .06, according to social media-focused online magazine MoviePilot, and a reading of 0.6 or 0.7 is considered better. By comparison, the ratio for “Deadpool” is a whopping 1.04.
“I haven’t seen any movie like that that has such a big positive buzz on YouTube at this scale,” MoviePilot CEO Tobi Bauckhage told CNBC.
About two weeks before its release, “Deadpool” was regularly drumming up 10,000 to 20,000 tweets, running just behind “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” according to BoxOffice.com.
This past Friday, following early “Deadpool” screenings, that volume spiked to more than 90,000, surpassing “The Force Awakens.”
Analysts at BoxOffice.com project the movie will earn more than $70 million in its first four days in North American theaters, enough to rival the opening weekends for Disney (DIS)‘s “Ant-Man” and Sony (6758.T-JP)‘s “The Amazing Spider-Man.” The company augments traditional pre-release tracking by factoring in social media buzz and other factors.
“Social media is obviously very important in this day and age for any movie,” BoxOffice.com senior analyst Shawn Robbins said. “Fox has actually been really championing it for quite a while and they’ve taken it to the next level with ‘Deadpool.’ ”
Many of the posts have come from Reynolds himself, who has been linked to the project for more than a decade and doubled as a producer. The actor, who calls himself a lifelong Deadpool fan, is widely seen by fans as having been instrumental to getting “Deadpool” into theaters after years of delays.
“The fact that he’s been so confident about it since day one, and they’ve taken a lot of years to really make it work, I think that’s helped to accentuate the excitement among fans,” Robbins said.
Since he joined Instagram last May, Reynolds has mostly dedicated his feed to “Deadpool” and its viral campaign. While there’s plenty of official marketing material, it’s also punctuated with shots of the actor’s own “Deadpool” collectibles and images of Reynolds with diehard fans — including kids from the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
For Reynolds to be so hands-on is a big deal, comScore’s Dergarabedian said. “Fans — particularly comic book fans — are very much about the back story, the pedigree and the authenticity of those involved.”
The prolific posting has had a multiplier effect. MoviePilot has published nearly 1,000 articles on “Deadpool” in the last six months, 70 percent of which were written by its network of fan contributors.
The slow trickle of “Deadpool” media has provided plenty of inspiration for fans, MoviePilot’s Bauckhage said. “If you get that right and you start early enough, then they will do a lot of the work for you.”
Indeed, while Deadpool is no household name, the character has a fiercely loyal following among comic book readers. At last fall’s New York Comic Con, dozens of fans in Deadpool cosplay could be seen gathering for group photos. Last year, the character ranked in the top 10 for comic books sale on eBay, out of a shortlist of 40 popular characters selected by market research firm Terapeak.
As with any fan-favorite comic book property, the pressure to do Deadpool justice will be high.
Fox will be looking to rebound from a stab last fall at rebooting “The Fantastic Four,” which became its first bona fide flop based on a Marvel property.
“Deadpool” also offers a fresh start for Reynolds, who starred in Warner Bros. Pictures’ 2011 “Green Lantern” adaptation. That movie underperformed and failed to launch a franchise based on the DC Comics property. To be sure, Reynolds and Fox poked fun of this baggage in the first “Deadpool” trailer, when Reynolds character exclaims: “Please don’t make the super suit green, or animated,” referring to Green Lantern’s notorious CGI getup.
None of that may matter because the footage released for “Deadpool” thus far has delivered a taste of what comics fans have been clamoring for for years: an R-rated mainstream superhero flick.
“I think after 30 seconds of the trailer for ‘Deadpool,’ all that is erased,” Dergarabedian said.
One casualty of the R-rating could be a China release. The film is opening in more than four dozen countries, but it has reportedly been locked out of the Middle Kingdom, which has been the second-biggest market for many superhero movies in recent years.
The Hollywood Reporter recently cited sources who said China’s media regulator declined to give “Deadpool” a release date due to the wealth of violence, nudity and crude language.
No official decision has been made on whether “Deadpool” will screen in China yet, Fox communications chief Chris Petrikin told CNBC.
Online fashion retailer Nasty Gal has laid off 10 percent of its staff, as the purveyor of edgy women’s clothing cuts costs amid an uncertain financing and retail environment.
CEO Sheree Waterson told the company in an email that the cuts were necessary as the “market in which we operate is changing, both in retail broadly and apparel specifically.” Nineteen employees across several departments were let go. Nasty Gal also laid off some staff in 2014.
The layoffs underscore the difficulty mature e-commerce startups can encounter as they transition from being a hot new brand to the long slog of building a more traditional retail business. In short, building a retail brand is really hard and technology can only afford you so many shortcuts along the way. Online beauty brand BirchBox announced layoffs of 15 percent of its staff last week, as startups in e-commerce tighten belts as investors become more wary of unprofitable growth.
Nasty Gal was founded by Sophia Amoruso in 2006 as a vintage shop on eBay. Over the years, she grew the Los Angeles-based company into an online business with more than $100 million in sales, fueled by a passionate customer base among millennial women and a strong social media presence where it boasts more than one million Facebook followers and nearly two million on Instagram. The company sells its own line of clothing as well as those of other brands and designers.
Amoruso turned over the CEO role to Waterson in early 2015, saying at the time that the company needed a more experienced leader. Re/code reported at the time that Amoruso had been telling potential investors that 2014 revenue growth would be flat or up slightly. She declined to give an update on 2015 sales figures when asked on Thursday.
Asked if it’s possible that Nasty Gal has hit its ceiling of growth, Amoruso toldRe/code, “We believe that future growth comes from being where our customer is, and that is not purely online. We have two stores and a lot of room to grow.”
The company has raised more than $60 million in venture capital from investors including Index Ventures and former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson.
California’s economic growth will outpace the nation overall for the next 5 years, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s latest forecast. It sees GDP growth of 2.9% this year and 2.4% next year vs. U.S. gains of 2.1% and 1.8%, respectively. Source: Investors Business Daily
Social media usage among Americans aged 65 and older has more than tripled since 2010. Today, 35% of Americans in that age group report using social media, compared with just 11% in 2010, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center. Source: MarketWatch
Since 1928, the Dow Industrial Average has increased more than 10% in a day 8 times, declined more than 10% in a day 4 times, and gone either up or down more than 5% in a day 136 times according to Firmex. Source: Firmex.com
It seems like just yesterday that Facebook Inc. went public. Now its market value has topped $250 billion.
The social network company’s 2.4 percent climb to a record close on Monday made it the first company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to breach that market cap so quickly. The previous record holder was Google Inc., which took about eight years.
Facebook’s rapid ascent may indicate investor confidence that the company will continue to increase mobile-advertising sales on its application and others. To some degree, the gain also reflects froth in tech stocks; the Nasdaq Internet Index has almost doubled since Facebook went public.
Its shares trade at 87 times earnings, almost five times the average in the S&P 500. Companies in the Nasdaq Internet Index trade at a price-earnings ratio of 27.
“When you see stocks with these high multiples, it shows you the market’s comfort in the longer-term growth story,” said Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Investors think Facebook is more valuable than the average Nasdaq stock.”
The company’s quick rise to $90.10 a share on Monday is even more remarkable because the stock lost more than half its value in the four months after its IPO in May 2012. Facebook had a market value of $104.2 billion at its IPO, so the company didn’t have to climb as far as some other companies did to reach $250 billion.
With a market value of $253 billion, Facebook is now the ninth-biggest company in the S&P 500 — bigger than Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co., which took decades to grow as valuable.
Facebook’s revenue from advertising — from which the company gets more than 90 percent of its sales — increased 46 percent to $3.32 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier. More than two-thirds of that came from mobile ad sales. Analysts estimate that sales rose 37 in the second quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Longer-term, the company plans to serve ads on other applications and websites and to make money from its rapidly growing Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger apps. Facebook also is betting on its $2 billion purchase last year of Oculus VR Inc., a virtual-reality headset maker, and efforts to expand Internet connections in developing countries.